PREEMPTIVE STEP: PUV drivers told to wear masks vs nCoV

first_imgThe transport sector which is beingoverseen by the LTFRB is the latest to take preemptive steps to protect itsstakeholders from this new viral infection. Operators of transport terminalswere directed to ensure the proper sanitation and cleanliness of theirfacilities as well as provide facemasks and disinfectants to passengers forfree. For its part, Vallacar Transit,operator of Ceres buses, confirmed having disseminated the LTFRB order to itsdrivers and conductors. Non-compliance would be a violation oftheir jeepney franchises, explained Parcon. It seems to start with a fever,followed by a dry cough and then, after a week, leads to shortness of breath. In Memorandum Circular 2020-005, LTFRBrequired the drivers and conductors “to properly wear facemasks at all timeswhile on duty, and for all franchise holders to ensure their compliance.” But even prior to LTFRB’s order, saidJade Seballos, the legal and media relations officer of Vallacar Transit, theywere already orienting their people about the importance of personal hygiene,especially hand washing. FAITH IN THE TIME OF A VIRUS OUTBREAK. Masked devotees of Nuestra Señora dela Candelaria (Our Lady of Candles) light candles at the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral in Jaro, Iloilo City. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN Coronaviruses are common, andtypically cause mild respiratory conditions, such as a cough or runny nose. ILOILO City – Public utility vehicledrivers and conductors here have been ordered to wear facemasks by the LandTransportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) as the government stepsup precautionary measures to deter a possible spread of the novel coronavirus(2019-nCoV). Meanwhile, the Iloilo City Alliance ofOperators and Drivers Transport Cooperative (ICAODTC) had a meeting over theweekend with member drivers, operators and public assistant officers(conductors) about the LTFRB order. All drivers and public utility vehicleoperators must comply with the LTFRB order or they would be meted withsanctions, according to Raymundo Parcon, president of the Iloilo City LoopAlliance of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association (ICLAJODA). The company would be distributing handsanitizers to its drivers although it is having a hard time procuring a bigvolume of facemasks, added Seballos. Avoiding eating raw or undercookedanimal products is also advised. But some are more serious – such asthe deadly SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and Middle East RespiratorySyndrome (Mers). Seballos also assured the ridingpublic that Vallar Transit is fastidious about the cleanliness of their Ceresbuses. But in more severe cases, infectioncan cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and evendeath. People are advised to avoid closecontact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections; wash handsregularly, especially after direct contact with ill people or theirenvironment; and avoid unprotected contact with farm or wild animals. This current outbreak – known as novelcoronavirus (nCoV) – is a new strain that has not been previously identified inhumans. “Bisanmagasto sa part namon, para man ini sa amon safety,” said Parcon. ICAODTC board secretary Rizal Alidosaid they were all cooperative. Most victims have been elderly people,suffering from other chronic diseases. The World Health Organization isadvising people in affected areas to follow standard procedures to reduce thechance of catching the virus. They include hand and respiratory hygiene as wellas safe food practices. He will also be distributingfacemasks, said Parcon, and would further direct drivers to bring with themdisinfectants (alcohol or hand sanitizers). Parcon would be calling for a meetingtoday with ICLAJODA chapter presidents and discuss the LTFRB order. Theassociation has around 3,000 members. Those with symptoms of coronavirusshould practice “cough etiquette”, including maintaining distance, coveringcoughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or the inside of an elbow, andwashing hands. (With a report from theBBC/PN)last_img

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