MANILA -- Authorities should ditch a rule for operators of public utility vehicles to install plastic sheets between passengers because these might stoke the spread of the novel coronavirus, a doctor said Monday.
The plastic barriers "can easily be contaminated" and it will be "quite difficult or impossible" for the driver or conductor to disinfect these every time a passenger gets off, said Philippine College of Physicians president Mario Panaligan.
"That’s the reason why it’s not gonna be safe or practical to put it," he told ANC.
"Huwag na mag-plastic. Kung hahawak man sila (pasahero) sa mga handles, sa mga kailangan for support, then magdala sila ng alcohol, mag-hand cleaning na agad sila… and avoid touching their face," he added.
(Don't use plastics. If they will touch the handles for support, they should bring alcohol and immediately clean their hands, and avoid touching their face.)
Public transport will be suspended during the modified enhanced community quarantine or MECQ in Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan from Aug. 4 to 18, Malacañang said Monday.
The MECQ, the second strictest among 4 lockdown levels, also limits the operation of manufacturing plants and other establishments to half of their capacity.
Coronavirus infections in the Philippines on Sunday breached the 100,000-mark. The country could have 150,000 COVID-19 cases by the end of August, an expert from the University of the Philippines warned.