Ex-health chief backs allowing more residents to go outside their homes


Posted at Oct 13 2020 09:27 AM | Updated as of Oct 13 2020 10:06 AM

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MANILA - A former health chief on Tuesday expressed support for Metro Manila mayors' proposal to allow more residents outside their homes.

The Metro Manila Council is considering allowing residents aged 18 to 65 out of their homes from the current 21 to 60 years old, its chairman Parañaque mayor Edwin Olivarez earlier said.

"Kailangan na talagang mag-adjust tayo dito sa sa bagong normal na tinatawag. Kailangan nating lumabas para kumita ng kabuhayan," former health secretary Esperanza Cabral told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(We really need to adjust to the new normal, we need to go out for our livelihoods.)

"Yung mga matatanda naman kawawa naman sila. 7 months nang nakakulong. Hindi na talaga mahusay 'yun para sa kanilang mental, physical health. Kailangan nila ng konting activity."

(The elderly have been locked inside their homes for 7 months. It's not good for their mental and physical health. They need a little activity.)

The public, however, must practice minimum health standards when going outside, Cabral said.

"Kailangan talaga consistent tayo sa paggamit ng (face) mask at shield nang tama," she said.

(We need to be consistent in wearing face masks and face shields correctly.)

Cabral said authorities are also considering a one-seat apart policy instead of the 1-meter physical distancing measure on public transportation to accommodate more passengers.

"Bagamat 1 meter ang distancing nila sa loob ng bus, sa labas naman naggigitgitan sila kasi nagaantay sila makasakay. Dun sila magkakahawa-hawa naman," she said.

(Even though they are 1 meter apart inside the bus, outside they are crammed with each other while waiting for the chance to get on. That's where they are infected.)

Tourists destinations may also open provided that health protocols are in place, Cabral added.

The Philippines as of Monday reported 342,816 cases of COVID-19, with 293,152 recoveries and 6,332 deaths.