Health professionals call for return of traditional jeepneys

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Traditional jeepneys should be allowed to go back on the roads, says a group of health professionals, explaining that they pose less risks of viral transmission than buses or even modern jeepneys.

Dr. Gene Nisperos of Second Opinion PH said there is no scientific basis for excluding traditional jeepneys in the list of vehicles allowed to provide public transportation during the pandemic.

“We can’t understand where the basis of excluding jeepneys are or where the Inter-Agency Task Force based their decision to exclude jeepneys while including other forms of public transport,” Nisperos said in an interview on CNN Philippines.

These types of jeepneys are safer as they allow for better free flow of air because of their large windows and door-less entrance, said Nisperos. Getting infected COVID-19 in air-conditioned buses and modern jeepneys is more likely due to limited ventilation, he added.

“Especially if you put limited passengers [in traditional jeepneys], then the circulation of air would be much preferable than in one that is air-conditioned or one that is enclosed,” he explained.

Nisperos said the IATF is doing not only jeepney drivers and operators an injustice, but also the riding public, noting that many rely on the public vehicle to transport them to work.

Nisperos urged the IATF to review its existing policies on public transportation and make sure they logical and helpful to the public.

Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal are under a modified enhanced community quarantine until August 18, wherein public transportation is once again suspended.

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