LTFRB ‘strongly urges’ PUV drivers, passengers to wear face masks amid COVID-19 fears
Robie de Guzman • March 10, 2020 • 1015
MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday called on public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers, operators and passengers to undertake appropriate measures to prevent the spread of illnesses amid the threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
In an advisory, the LTFRB strongly urged PUV drivers and conductors to wear face masks at all times while on duty, as stated on the Memorandum Circular (MC) 2020-005 issued recently.
The agency also reminded terminal operators to ensure proper sanitation and cleanliness in their premises.
Face masks, disinfectants or sanitizers for free use of passengers should also be provided by transport operators, the LTFRB said.
Public transport providers are also urged to sanitize their vehicle units using hospital-grade disinfectants before and after deployment, and to be “wary of anyone manifesting symptoms of infection.”
The agency likewise called on transport operators to avoid overcrowding in public buses, and to work with health authorities by reporting suspected coronavirus cases.
“Passengers are encouraged to participate in the conduct of these measures by disinfecting their seats before and after use,” the LTFRB said.
“The Board calls out all drivers and operators to be reminded of their responsibility to provide a safe and reliable public transportation system to the riding public—now, more than ever,” it added.
The agency issued the reminder following President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of a state of public health emergency as recommended by the Department of Health.
As of posting, the Philippines has 33 confirmed coronavirus cases.
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa has been discharged from the hospital after a bout with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), his office said Friday.
In a message to reporters, his office said Dela Rosa will continue taking his medicines at home and will be placed under home quarantine as advised by his doctors.
His staff on Thursday said Dela Rosa was admitted to the hospital on Nov. 23 after developing fever, cough, and colds so that he could be monitored better, and that his condition is already improving.
The former Philippine National Police chief confirmed that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 21, after the Senate wrapped up the period of debates for the proposed 2021 budget.
Dela Rosa said he and three other members of his household contracted the virus.
Dela Rosa was the fifth senator to be infected with COVID-19 this year. His colleagues, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senators Sonny Angara, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla all recovered from the viral respiratory disease. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an executive order to fast-track COVID-19 vaccine procurement for early vaccine distribution, according to Malacañang.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the President has issued Executive Order (EO) No. 121 granting an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for drugs and vaccines for COVID-19.
Based on the Executive Order, the President will grant the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to provide Emergency Use Authorization for medicines for the treatment of COVID-19.
“Kung magkakaroon ng emergency use utilization, ang mga rehistrado sa mga foreign FDA na mga bakuna, mapapabilis po ang pag-issue ng authority to use it under EUA to 21 days. Normally po kung wala itong Executive Order na ito it will take as long as six months,” Roque said.
The Palace official added that the EUA will be good for the country as it will pave the way for ending the pandemic and the return to normalcy. AAC
Twenty-five Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) employees in Subic tested positive for COVID-19 after holding two parties in November.
According to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Health and Safety Department Dr. Solomon Jacalne, out of the 65 employees of a BPO company that attended the two parties, 25 of them are currently under quarantine.
“Contact tracing indicated that the employees who tested positive of Covid-19 either attended the parties or were exposed to co-workers who went to the said social gatherings,” he said.
Jacalne said the employees attended a beach party in Olonggapo City and a pool party in Zambales. He also said several of the workers did not accurately declare their health condition which might also have contributed to the surge of COVID-19 cases.
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the surge in cases would have been avoided if the employees followed the minimum health protocols.
“This was the lesson some employees of a business process outsourcing company here recently learned the hard way after attending parties that might have served as super-spreading events,” she added.
Eisma said the agency will conduct an investigation on the incident and will implement additional safety measures in work areas of the concerned company. AAC (with reports from Leslie Huidem)
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