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Supermarkets impose social distancing to curb COVID-19

Supermarkets and grocery stores in Metro Manila began implementing social distancing measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

According to Tina Panganiban-Perez’s Tuesday report on 24 Oras, some supermarkets only allowed 50 customers inside stores to prevent congestion.

Some stores, meanwhile, also put stickers on the floor to guide customers that they need to be one meter apart from each other.

“Sa mga open retailers, for example supermarkets, ang pinaka-social distancing po natin diyan as a rule is one meter apart ang bawat tao and the way we simply measure it, kung ano ‘yong free space na puwedeng lakaran ng tao inside a store, bilangin lamang ilan ang square meters ‘yon and one meter per square person ang bilangan,” Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

As part of preventive measures, customers’ temperatures were constantly checked and were advised to disinfect before entering the store. Push carts, on the other hand, were also disinfected before use.

Aside from supermarkets, Quezon City local government markets also began imposing social distancing measures.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture assured the public that there will be enough food supply in Metro Manila amid the enhanced community quarantine.

“The food resiliency action plan for COVID-19 is now in full effect to ensure the availability of affordable, nutritious and safe food for the consuming public,” Department of Agriculture William Dar said.

Dar said the DA is expediting the facilitation of food lanes in 65 entry and exit points across Metro Manila.

“We are coordinating with all accredited truckers, logistics and refrigerated van operators for the faster passage of agricultural goods.,” he said.

“We will guarantee that quarantine measures will still be observed while ensuring that we have enough supply of commodities that are arriving from other regions,” Dar added.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines rose to 187 on Tuesday after the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed 45 new infections.

President Rodrigo Duterte has already placed the entire Philippines under state of calamity, allowing the government to tap more funds to contain the spread of the COVID-19. —Ma. Angelica Garcia/LDF, GMA News