The Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday that it is preparing for a possible spike of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the country as public transportation in the country is set accommodate more passengers with the easing of restrictions. 

Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire made the statement as her response to the findings of the University of the Philippines OCTA Research Group on October 26 that Covid-19 cases in the National Capital Region—the epicenter of the country’s coronavirus pandemic—could spike because of the loosening of social distancing protocols in public transportation. 

“Sa pag-ease ng restrictions sa public transport, pagbubukas ng ekonomiya at iba pang sektor…we expect…kasama sa risk management ang pagtaas ng kaso,” Vergeire said.

“We have been saying that the virus will stay here for long but at the same time, we cannot remain in lockdown forever and paralyzed with fear,” Vergeire added.

She advised the public to stay vigilant and strictly observe health standards such as washing of hands, social distancing as well as wearing face masks or face shields when the public transportation restrictions are relaxed. 

“There should be a change in behavior so that COVID-19 infection will not be as transmissible as it was before, at para maiwasan ang pagtaas ng kaso,” Vergeire added. RJ Espartinez