By Freddie Lazaro
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – Farmers here have been told to strictly observe social distancing at least one-meter apart while doing farming duties to ensure their safety from the possible infection of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID – 19).
Department of Health (DOH) Region 1 Director Dr. Valeriano Lopez issued the advice to farmers in a recent joint meeting of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Region 1 (RDRRMC1) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID).
Although the farmers have more exposure to sunlight, Lopez said that this was not a guarantee that they would less affected by the COVID–19.
He said that there’s no scientific evidence to prove that the virus will not transfer from human-to -human while working under the heat of the sun.
But Lopez did note that there were reports that the virus will not survive when exposed to sunlight with a minimum temperature of 26 degrees celsius.
Aside from social distancing, the farmers should practice proper handwashing, cough or sneezing etiquette and stay at home if they don’t have farming activities.
These words of advice may have come timely as farmers in the region have started to flock to their farms as the harvest season for corn and matured leaves of tobacco has already begun.
In the ongoing implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in the entire Luzon to stop the spread of the COVID – 19, Lopez said that no one must be exempted from the precautionary measures set by the national government through the IATF – EID.
The task force is strictly enforcing the guidelines of the stringent social distancing measures.
Mass gatherings like concerts, sporting or entertainment activities, community assemblies, and non-essential work-related gatherings are not allowed.
But essential work-related activities may continue as long as a strict social distancing measure, which is the maintenance of a distance of at least one-meter radius between and among the workers or attendees, is observed.