'Maghinay-hinay’: Doc flags issues with 100 pct. capacity on transport

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 28 2021 09:24 AM

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MANILA – The Philippines should brace itself for a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases if it eases quarantine restrictions too quickly, a doctor said, as transport officials seek to increase passenger capacity of public utility vehicles.

Philippine College of Physicians president Dr. Maricar Limpin made the statement when asked for her thoughts on the Department of Transportation’s push to allow PUVs to operate at full capacity, a move that has been backed by at least one transport group.

“Medyo nakakapangamba pa po 'yun, 'yung sinasabi po na mabilisan na gagawin hong 100 percent, although naiintindihan ho namin yung kanilang sinasabi, ‘no, yung kanilang mungkahi at yung plano dahil sa bumababa nga po yung ating COVID-19 cases,” she said.

But Limpin noted that the recording of at least 3,000 new cases per day still means that the virus is still in the Philippines.

She noted that there is a slight uptick in the rise of COVID-19 cases worldwide.

“Kasi yung global trend, ang napansin ho namin sa oras na ito po ay umakyat yung global trend, umaakyat, sumusunod po tayo doon sa global trend. ‘Pag bumaba, bumababa din po yung mga kaso dito sa ating bansa. So, napapansin ho siguro ninyo, kung titingnan ho ninyo yung global trend, medyo on the rise po siya, ‘no, so medyo nandoon ho siya sa paakyat.”

“So intindihin ho natin, maski ho sa UK ‘no eh dumadami na rin po ang kaso nila, at d'yan nakakakita po nung mutation po nung Delta variant, at siyempre no ioopen din natin, hindi lang 100 percent capacity sa transportation kundi naka-open na rin po yung borders natin ano, so, the possibility na may pumasok ho dito po, yang mga mutant na yan ng Delta variant eh napakataas."

“So I think we just really have to brace ourselves for a possible fourth wave kung masyado ho tayong magiging mabilis ‘no doon sa mga pagluluwag ho natin,” she said.

Limpin noted that social distancing would no longer be in place in public transportation if they operate at full capacity.

“Definitely wala na yugn safety protocols doon except for the mask, ‘no, dahil sa pag sinabi mong 100 percent wala na yung physical distance,” she said.

“And then, lalong-lalo na doon sa mga aircon buses ano, so yung circulation, compromised na rin. So, definitely, hindi na masusunod yung minimum health standards natin. Yun ang problema doon.”

Limpin advised government officials to take it slow when it comes to easing quarantine restrictions.

“Siguro, wala naman hong masama kung medyo maghihinay-hinay ho tayo. Tandaan ho natin, maski noon at that time na talagang anong-ano na, masyadong raving to go 'yung ating pamahalaan, 'yun hong sinasabi naming pag-iingat at paghinay-hinay doon sa mga pagrerelax ng restrictions, ay nakagawa, nakita ho natin ang naging ganda, 'yung ganda ng epekto nung paghihinay-hinay na 'yan.”

“So I would like to maybe recommend na siguro mag-isip-isip muna tayo. Hindi naman masama kung siguro ay palawigin pa natin yung current na measures na ginagawa natin yung interventions no,” she said.

“Para ho sa ganoon sa Pasko, mas masaya ho tayo.”

--Teleradyo, 28 October 2021