Friday 27 January 2023

CTP urges mandatory use of masks on public transport

The Public Transport Council asked the Ministry of Health to assess this measure for drivers and passengers of public buses, trains and taxis

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26 January 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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The Consejo de Transporte Público (CTP) – Public Transport Council (CTP) is urging taxi, bus and special services drivers to use face masks as a defense against Covid-19 and asked the Ministry of Health to assess their mandatory use for users of the service.
The CTP (a division of the Ministry of Transport) executive director of the CTP, Manuel Vega, said it will be urging the Ministry of Health to decree the use of the masks (mascarillas in Spanish), “This to provide a little more security, a smooth journey, to people who are moving through the public transport system”.

According to Vega, this measure would work as a complement to the other measures requested by the ministry, such as social distancing and constant handwashing.

The director of the CTP also indicated that people who have to frequently leave out of necessity do so via public transport. According to Vega, this measure would serve as an additional protection for these people, when added to the other measures.

The CTP noted through a statement that “the use of masks on public transport is already recommended worldwide, both in people with symptoms who already know they are infected with Covid-19 and asymptomatic.”

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The Ministry of Health has not yet promoted the use of masks. However, Health Minister Daniel Salas said on April 15 that “people who want to use them can use them.”

“At no time have we said that (the general population) cannot use them. Sure you can. It is not an explicit recommendation. Especially since people who do not have symptoms can transmit the disease,” Salas said on April 15 at a press conference.

Potential focus of infection

The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend healthy people to wear face masks unless they are caring for someone with Covid-19 or are medical personnel. In case of using them, however, it is recommended to wash them frequently with alcohol or soap and water.

For WHO experts, the use of masks in the general population can be an incentive to touch their faces, increasing the possibility of contagion.

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