Keep your distance: Health workers reject eased physical distancing


Posted at Sep 15 2020 10:54 AM

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A group of health workers on Tuesday asked the government to defer its easing of physical distancing rules to when coronavirus cases go down. 

Lowering the required distancing in public transport to 0.75 meters from 1 meter could lead to an uptick of “hundreds of cases,” said Dr. Anna Ong Lim of the Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19. 

“We submitted the modeling data [to the government] and requested them to reconsider the implementation until more reliable information could be obtained,” she told ANC. 

“Because we still have a high number of cases being reported, the new recommendation for physical distancing might not be well-advised and perhaps we should wait until we have less cases so that any impact we observe, particularly if it leads to an increase in cases, will not increase healthcare utilization. It’s currently quite stretched already,” she added. 

Lim urged the government to consider increasing the allowed number of public vehicles and staggering work hours, she said. 

The alliance encourages the public to continue keeping a 1-meter distance from others, travel in off-peak hours, walk or bike when possible, refrain from touching surfaces, and disinfect hands frequently. 

ANC, Sept. 15, 2020