ALL national and local government vehicles, including those that come in from other regions, are required to open their windows, a fraction or halfway whichever is convenient, while in transit, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio ordered.
Duterte-Carpio emphasized this through Executive Order (EO) No. 25 on Wednesday, May 5, 2021.
"With the surge of cases in the National Capital Region and other areas in the country and the emergence of new Covid-19 variants, there is a need to expand the implementation of adequate air ventilation beyond PUVs [public utility vehicles] as a strategic measure to control the transmission of the virus," the mayor said in the EO.
She cited a study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health that suggests keeping car windows open, even if just a small opening, can minimize the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
Prior to the EO, the Davao City Covid-19 Task Force through Resolution No. 3 series of 2020 and joint Department of Transportation-Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (DOTr-LTFRB) Office Circular No. 2020-59, provides for adequate air ventilation beyond PUVs operating within the city.
Davao City Health Office (CHO) Acting Head Dr. Ashley Lopez also reiterated proper ventilation as one of the minimum public health standards against Covid-19.
He added that even airconditioned vehicles must have a small opening for the free flow of air inside the vehicle.
"Kung aircon na siya unya nakasarado ang bintana, the possibility is naa’y ginatawag na recirculation tungod sa aircon. Kung naay exposed diha, naa matakdan," Lopez said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.
(If the vehicle is airconditioned and the windows are closed, there is a possibility that there will be recirculation of air particles. If there will be an infected person inside, there’s a huge risk of transmission.)
Lopez said having an open window will not only protect passengers but also the driver.
The health official said most transmission happens in enclosed offices, including banks and other private establishments due to poor ventilations.