The COVID-19 situation in the Philippines persists as the viral disease continues to infect many Filipinos every day.

Experts say that SARS-CoV 2, the virus causing COVID-19, can stay long in the air enough for others to catch it. Viral transmission is not only through water droplets but also via the air that an infected person breathes out.

But let’s face it: we cannot avoid going outside, especially if we need to commute to go to work or buy essential goods amid the pandemic. Going outside means possible exposure to the virus.

Those who have their own vehicles, meanwhile, are luckier as they are not as exposed as those who commute in public transport. This, however, doesn’t mean that there is no more risk so here are some measures to follow:

Clean the places in your vehicles that come in contact with the most

The Department of Health (DOH), along with other health organizations and experts, reminds the public to observe proper hygiene to avoid getting infected. In the same sense, cleaning your vehicle is a must, especially when you often use it.

Clean the surface or parts that are frequently touched. The car’s interior should be prioritized, but you’d also want to include the door handles and the trunk, among others.

Don’t take kids and elderly as passengers

The COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) recently announced that people ages 15-65 years old are now permitted to go outside.

The World Health Organization (WHO), however, said that those at 60 years of age and above are at risk of contracting the disease as they commonly have health or immunity problems that make them more vulnerable.

Children are also prone to getting the disease as they are less aware of personal hygiene. It doesn’t hurt to be careful, so avoid letting them in your car if you can help it.

Improve ventilation

A recent Harvard study revealed that the COVID-19 virus concentrates more in an enclosed area without ventilation. Tip? Keep one of your windows open by three inches to encourage air circulation.

If you’re not a fan of letting your windows open, activating the air ventilation or air conditioning on non-recirculation mode would do the trick as well.

The DOH also advised the public to always stay in open-air areas and avoid closed settings where the virus stays trapped.

Keep wearing your face mask even while driving

Wearing a face mask helps in preventing the spread of COVID-19 as it prevents carriers from transmitting the virus to other people.

Authorities also mandate the public, including private vehicle owners, to wear face masks while inside vehicles. Failure to do so may result in being reprimanded or fined. Wearing a face mask makes breathing quite uncomfortable, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry.

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