DOTr told to provide free shuttle service to health workers

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has directed the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to provide free shuttle services to health workers during the Luzon-wide “enhanced” community quarantine period.

In a Palace press briefing late Tuesday night, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the IATF-EID has tasked the DOTr to deploy buses that would ferry health workers and other front-line responders while Luzon is under quarantine.

“The Department of Transportation, in cooperation with local government units and upon the consultation (with) the Department of Health, shall develop a system of point-to-point transport services for all the aforementioned health workers,” said Nograles, who also serves as IATF-EID spokesperson.

President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the entire island of Luzon under the enhanced community quarantine until April 12 due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country.

Over the period, work and mass public transportation are suspended for one month.

However, health and emergency front-line workers are still required to go to work.

Among those exempted are employees of the Department of Health (DOH), DOH-accredited hospitals, hospitals of local government units, and provincial city and rural health units.

Also exempted are private health workers and volunteers of the Philippine Red Cross and the World Health Organization.

In a press statement, the DOTr announced that 10 buses would be initially deployed to two identified pick-up points – the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) and the BFCT East Metro Transport Terminal in Marikina City – to serve health workers.

The DOTr ensured that buses would comply with the DOH’s containment protocols, which include the observance of social distancing, body temperature checks, and regular disinfecting of vehicles.

The Philippines has 187 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 14 deaths.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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