1-meter distance among PUV passengers stays until Duterte issues decision

/ 12:12 PM September 17, 2020
1-meter distance among PUV passengers stays until Duterte issues decision

Plastic dividers help passengers maintain physical distancing in a jeepney plying the Tandang

MANILA, Philippines — The one-meter physical distance rule among commuters in public transportation will remain in effect until President Rodrigo Duterte decides on the issue.

In a tweet Thursday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Transportation chief Arthur Tugade “manifested in (an) IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) meeting that (the) one-meter rule in public traspo[rtation] remains” until Duterte announced his decision on the controversial easing of physical distancing in public utility vehicles (PUVs).


Roque said the IATF had a six-hour meeting on Wednesday to “reassess” the policy after medical experts warned that reducing the one-meter physical distance among commuters may lead to further coronavirus transmission.

Tugade earlier said the IATF and the National Task Force against COVID-19 (NTF) allowed the proposal to decrease physical distancing inside PUVs to 0.75 meters from one meter, which is recommended by the World Health Organization.

The reduced physical distancing rule was announced to start on Monday, Sept. 14.

However, a study by the Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 showed that shortening the required distance between passengers may result in 686 additional daily coronavirus infections.

Duterte is expected to announce his decision on the matter on Monday, September 21.


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