A physician raised alarm on Thursday, Oct. 28, over the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) proposal to raise the passenger capacity in public utility vehicles (PUV) back to 100 percent.
DOTr said the proposal seeks to help drivers and operators amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the continued increase of fuel prices.
However, Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) President Dr. Maricar Limpin raised alarm over the agency’s proposal, noting that “COVID-19 is still in the Philippines.”
“Medyo nakakapangamba po yun, yung sinasabing mabilisang gagawing 100 percent. Although naiintindihan ho namin yung kanilang sinasabi, yung kanilang mungkahi, at plano dahil sa bumababa nga po yung ating COVID-19 cases (It’s a bit alarming to implement 100 percent capacity in PUVs quickly. But we understand where they are coming from since our COVID-19 cases are decreasing),” Limpin said in an interview over TeleRadyo.
“Isipin ho natin tatlong libong kaso bawat araw ibig hong sabihin nandito pa rin ho ang virus at kung titingnan ho natin ang global trend, ang napansin ho namin sa oras na ito po ay umakyat, sumusunod po tayo (Let’s think about our 3,000 COVID-19 cases daily, it just means that the virus is still here and if we look at the global trend, we will notice that cases are going up again),” she underscored.
The physician also noted that there is currently a slight uptick in the rise of COVID-19 cases worldwide.
“Intindihin ho natin, maski sa UK dumarami ang kaso nila at dyan nakakita ho ng mutation nung Delta variant at syempre i-o-open ho natin hindi lang 100 percent capacity sa transportation, kundi naka-open na rin po yung borders natin (Let’s understand first, even in the UK their cases are increasing and we even saw a mutation of the Delta variant there, and of course we will not only allow 100 percent capacity in PUVs, but we also opened our borders again),” Limpin continued.
“The possibility na may pumasok ho sa atin na mga mutant na yan ng Delta variant ay napakataas so I think we just have to brace ourselves for a possible fourth wave kung masyado ho tayong magiging mabilis doon sa pagluluwag natin (The possibility that Delta variant mutations will enter our country is very high, so I think we just have to brace ourselves for a possible fourth wave if we loosen our restrictions too quickly).”
The AY.4.2, known as the Delta subvariant, is so far confined mainly to the United Kingdom although cases linked to it have already been reported in Russia, Israel, and the United States.