No more touching: Thai mall installs foot pedals in elevators

UNTV News   •   May 21, 2020   •   634

No more touching in the elevators as a Thai shopping mall in Bangkok installed foot pedals for customers to step on instead of pressing the buttons, lowering the risk of having to be exposed to germs.

“Now everyone is worried about getting infected with the COVID-19 and the easiest way to get infected is that when you touch an object that has been contaminated with the COVID-19 virus, and then eventually touch your face and the virus will go into your mouth, your eyes or whatever. So, we came up with this idea of hand-free foot-operated elevator,” said Prote Sosothikul, the vice president of Seacon Development PLC which oversees the mall.

The foot-operated elevator pedal system is also welcomed by mall customers, saying they felt safer to use the lift without actually touching the buttons, reducing the risk of getting infected.

“I think they did a good job in preparing this. I feel much safer… Now that we can use our foot to press the elevator, it’s really great,” said 26-year-old Watcharaporn.

Thailand on Sunday (May 17) reopened malls and department stores for the first time since March in its second phase of relaxing measures as the number of new cases slowed.

Thailand has reported a total of 3,034 cases of the coronavirus and 56 deaths. (Reuters)

(Production: Artorn Pookasook, Juarawee Kittisilpa)

LGU ordinance, kailangan sa pagpasok ng mga menor de edad sa mall – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   December 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Hinimok ni Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año ang mga lokal na pamahalaan na maglabas ng ordinansa para payagan ang mga menor de edad sa loob ng mga mall sa general community quarantine (GCQ) areas.

Ginawa ni Año ang pahayag kasunod ng rekomendasyon na payagan nang lumabas ang mga menor de edad sa gitna ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Una nang sinabi ng DILG chief na maaaring pumasok sa loob ng mga mall sa GCQ areas ang mga menor de edad na 15 anyos pababa basta’t kasama ang kanilang mga magulang.

Ngunit kailangan aniya itong pagtibayan ng ordinansa, lalo na ng bawat lungsod sa Metro Manila.

“Ito po ay pagtitibayin sa mga ordinansa ng ating mga NCR (National Capital Regions) mayors sa lugar po ng GCQ (General Community Quarantine)” ang wika ni Año.

Paglilinaw naman ni Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, limitado lamang ang aktibidad na maaaring gawin ng mga menor de edad sa loob ng mall gaya ng pagbili ng pagkain at iba pang mahahalagang bagay.

Ayon kay Lopez, ito ay bahagi ng mga hakbang ng pamahalaan upang muling pasiglahin ang ekonomiya na nalugmok sa gitna ng pandemya.

Samantala, sinabi naman ng Philippine National Police (PNP) na hihintayin nila ang ilalabas na ordinansa ng mga lokal na pamahalaan bago nila payagan ang mga menor de edad na makapasok sa loob ng mga mall.

“Kailangan pagtibayin yan ng isang ordinansa. Sa meeting namin ng JTF COVID Shield, pinaghandaan po namin itong recommendation ng mayors sa Metro Manila at kaugnayan din natin si NCRPO director para nga sa pagpapatupad nitong nirecommend nila na tinanggap naman ng IATF at inannounce na nga kagabi,” ang wika ni Lieutenant General Cesar Hawthorne Binag, ang commander ng Joint Task Force COVID Shield.

Hinimok rin ng pulisya ang mga magulang na kung maaari ay huwag nang dalhin sa mall ang mga bata hangga’t nananatili ang banta ng COVID-19.

“Nakikiusap kami na hangga’t kaya dahil wala pa po tayong vaccination e umiwas na lang po muna sana. This is to protect and prevent the disease from spreading further. Siguro kung medyo naturukan na tayo ng vaccine ay that’s the time na pwede na lumabas,” ang pahayag ni National Capital Region Police Office director Brigadier General Vicente Danao Jr.

Sinabi rin ni PNP chief General Debold Sinas na pauuwiin nila ang mga batang magtutungo sa mall habang wala pang inilalabas na ordinansa.

“Hindi namin hulihin at alamin muna ng pulis ang dahilan kung bakit nasa mall na sila at pauwiin natin sila,” ang wika ni Sinas. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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Experts say stricter quarantine classification possible in January 2021

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Experts at the University of the Philippines (UP) OCTA Research said that a stricter quarantine classification in January 2021 is likely if COVID-19 cases reach the 500,000 mark.

Dr. Guido David of the UP OCTA Research said there is a possible surge in COVID-19 cases during the holiday season due to family reunions and other mass gatherings.

“Kung bigla tayong magka-surge baka magka-MGCQ tayo by January kung nagka-holiday surge tayo. In fact huwag naman sanang mangyari pero it’s even remotely possible na mabalik tayo sa mas strict na quarantine kaya nga ayaw natin mangyari iyan (If there is a surge we might be placed under MGCQ by January. If fact, hopefully it won’t happen, but it’s even remotely possible we might go back to strict quarantine which we don’t want to happen),” he said.

The team stressed the importance of maintaining physical distancing and observing minimum health standards to avoid the rise in COVID-19 cases.

They also warned that the surge could take a toll on health workers and hospitals.

David said they are open to easing the quarantine classification to Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) if COVID-19 cases drop. However, there is still a possibility that cases would increase to 10,000-20,000.

Kung magpatuloy ang pagbaba ng bilang ng kaso, pwede naming echo iyong sinabi ni DOH Usec. [Rosario] Vergeire na mag- MGCQ na tayo by the first quarter of next year pero ang condition niyan is ang patuloy na pagbaba ng bilang ng kaso (If cases continue to drop we can echo DOH Usec. Rosario Vergeire in easing to MGCQ by the first quarter of next year, but under the condition that cases continue to drop),” he said.

Experts also urged private sectors and local government units (LGUs) to continue implementing minimum health standards and avoid physical gatherings this holiday season. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Medical teams sent to Davao City to help manage rising COVID-19 cases – Galvez

Robie de Guzman   •   December 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The government has deployed medical teams to Davao City to help address the surge of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city, National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said.

During a cabinet meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, Galvez said six doctors and 13 nursing staff were deployed to the city to assist the already “overwhelmed” personnel of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) amid the uptick in COVID-19 infections.

The teams will also help improve Davao City’s COVID-19 referral and emergency operations systems.

Galvez noted that Davao City has seen a 68-percent increase in infection rate in recent days.

He also said that the task force had previously sent medical equipment and medicines to SPMC to manage severe coronavirus cases.

Members of the task force also visited Davao City last week to assess the situation.

“Sa ngayon po, medyo nag-i-stabilize ang Davao. At nagpadala na rin po tayo ng mga tinatawag po natin na high-flow nasal cannula at nagpadala rin po tayo ng mga Avigan — na mga compassionate drug para po makatulong po sa mga severe cases po natin,” Galvez said in his report to the president.

He said the teams sent to Davao were also the ones that assisted Cebu City in curbing the surge in coronavirus cases.

Inter-Agency Task Force Chief Implementer for Visayas, retired Major General Melquiades Feliciano and his team, as well as Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega are also in Davao City, according to Galvez.

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