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DOH Recommends Dining Al Fresco In Restos To Reduce Risk Of COVID-19
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  • If you want to try to eat out despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Health (DOH) has a recommendation: Eat outdoors.

    During the “Laging Handa” public briefing last June 11, 2020, DOH Undersecretary Maria Singh-Vergeire said her agency suggests restaurants should re-open in an open-air setting to reduce the chance of diners catching COVID-19.

    “Yung po artikulo na ‘yan lumabas nitong mga nakaraang araw na sinasabi nga ng mga eksperto daw na airborne na,” the official said, referring to recent reports that the COVID-19 virus may now be airborne. (Read our story here about COVID-19 as airborne.)

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    “Pero ang WHO [World Health Organization] naman nagpalabas din, and even our experts are saying it can be airborne in specific settings, katulad po na alam naman natin pag sa hospital kaya nga po complete PPE [personal protective equipment] ang healthcare workers pag diyan because there are aerosol-producing equipment diyan.”

    According to Singh-Vergeire, one such setting wherein the virus can be airborne is enclosed spaces.


    “So diyan po ang sinasabi nila na maaari po maging airborne ‘yan dahil closed yung setting natin,” she said.

    “Kaya nga tayo ay nagkakaroon ng rekomendasyon na sana kung magkakaroon ng pagbubukas ng ibang sector, katulad ng mga restaurants, it should be in open air para po hindi nagkakaroon ng mga ganitong instances.”

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    The recommendation makes sense. If the coronavirus is airborne (it can be transmitted through aerosols and stay in the air), you want to avoid crowded indoor spaces where the air gets recirculated.

    Stagnant air, the kind you’d get in public bathrooms, for example, can also quickly spread an airborne virus (measles is another example of an airborne virus). That makes wearing a mask vital, even when physical distancing is observed.

    An aerosol expert The New York Times (NYT) interviewed suggested opening windows and doors whenever possible to get fresh air.

    However, many establishments, specifically those situated inside malls or buildings, do not have provisions for an outdoor setup. They may not have the option to move their operations to an open-air setting. 

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    One suggestion: “Public buildings and businesses may want to invest in air purifiers and ultraviolet lights that can kill the virus,” NYT added.

    Read more tips here on how to protect your family from an airborne coronavirus and community transmission.  

    This story originally appeared on Reportr. Minor edits have been made by the SmartParenting.com.ph editors.

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