RISK REDUCTION. An infographic by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) showing the estimated reduction in the risk of Covid-19 infection with different combinations of interventions. The DOTr said wearing face masks, shields, and a physical distance of one-meter between individuals result in a 99-percent reduction in risk of infection. (Infographic courtesy of DOTr)  

MANILA – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said wearing face shields and face masks, and keeping a one-meter distance between other persons, effectively reduce the transmission of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in public transportation by as much as 99 percent.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, the DOTr said the data was based on a 2020 study attributed to Dans, Herrera, et al., that measured the estimated risk reduction of contracting Covid-19 per intervention—wearing masks, face shields, and physical distancing.

Compared to the 99-percent reduction in risk of transmission, it said wearing a mask and shield would only result in a 93-percent reduction, one-meter distance, and wearing a face mask a 94-percent reduction.

Meanwhile, observing a two-meter distance and wearing a mask would result in a 97-percent reduction of virus transmission.

While no cure or vaccine is yet found against Covid-19, it said focusing on risk reduction in all public transportation is currently one of the best ways to reduce the chances of being infected or spreading the coronavirus.

“This being said, starting August 15, the DOTr will require all passengers using any mode of public transportation to wear face shield as an additional ‘armor’ in the fight to prevent this sector from becoming a transmission vector of the virus,” the DOTr said.

On Wednesday, the DOTr announced the new measure that would require the mandatory wearing of face masks in all forms of public transportation including the aviation sector, airports, railway transport, road transport, and the maritime sector.

The new measure is in addition to other existing health protocols such as a minimum physical distancing of one-meter, wearing face masks, and hand washing or sanitizing. (PNA)