Manila to let e-tricycles operate to service health workers
MANILA, Philippines — The Manila City government will allow 189 e-tricycles to service health workers going to public hospitals within the capital city amid the suspension of public transport operations in the entire Luzon, which is under the enhanced community quarantine due to COVID-19.
“May trabaho na kayo (e-tricycle drivers). Kayo ay gagamitin namin na hatid-sundo ng ating mga doctors, nurses, and health workers sa ating mga public hospitals sa lungsod ng Maynila. Kaya may trabaho kayo at may sweldo. ‘Yan po ay tulong ng national government through the Department of Labor and Employment,” Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said in a Facebook live on Thursday.
(You now have a job. We will use you to service our doctors, nurses, or health workers to public hospitals in the City of Manila. You have a job and a salary. This is the help of the national government through the Department of Labor and Employment.)
Manila Public Information Office chief Julius Leonen said guidelines on this initiative will be announced soon.
In Pasig City, Mayor Vico Sotto has allowed tricycle operations to continue servicing healthcare personnel and others like people seeking medical treatment as they are exempted from the quarantine.
This move, however, was thumbed down by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, which asserted that the general public and not only health workers might take the tricycles to go to their places of destination.
DILG Spokesperson and Undersecretary for Plans, Public Affairs, and Communications Jonathan Malaya said Sotto may instead consider other options to provide transportation for health workers as being done by other local government units in Metro Manila.
The national government has placed the Luzon region under enhanced community quarantine from 12 a.m. of March 17 to 12 a.m. of April 13 to help curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19.
COVID-19, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. The virus is related to that which causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome but is not as deadly, with only around three percent mortality rate.
WHO said 80 percent of patients experience mild illness and eventually recover from the disease, while some 14 percent experience severe illness and five percent were critically ill.
The virus is spread through small droplets from the nose or mouth when those infected coughs or sneezes. Health authorities urge the public to practice frequent hand washing, cover their mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and avoid close contact with those exhibiting respiratory symptoms to prevent infection.
COVID-19 has already infected more than 218,000 people across the globe and killed over 8,800, mostly in China, Italy, and Iran.
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