The Philippine government’s task force against COVID-19 has approved another motorcycle shield design that would supposedly prevent the spread of the coronavirus, its chairman Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said today.
Lorenzana said motorists can now use the barrier designed by motorcycle taxi service Angkas, a backpack that motorbike drivers can wear on their shoulders. The shield provides a makeshift barrier that will keep the driver and its passenger from touching each other’s bodies, and is expected to protect the passenger and driver from saliva and droplets.
A handle on the back of the shield also allows the passenger to hold on to the barrier instead of the driver’s waist or shoulders.
“Effective immediately, the above barriers between motorcycle driver and passengers are hereby approved,” Lorenzana told reporters in a text message.
Angkas’ shield was approved a few days after the government presented an approved model designed by Bohol Governor Arthur Yap, which, if used, would allow couples who are living together to ride in a single motorcycle. Riding pillion was previously banned in the country to curb the spread of the virus.
Lorenzana reiterated, however, that pillion-riding is allowed only for couples who could prove that they are married or living together. The government, which approved Yap’s prototype last week, said Filipinos can replicate the approved designs.
However, a motoring expert last week expressed concern that Yap’s shield — a plastic sheet attached to a bracket that is connected to the passenger footrest — could be dangerous. Aris Ilagan said that strong winds hitting the shield could cause drivers to lose their balance.
“It [the shield] could push you to the curb, and you wouldn’t know why. You’ll just feel that the motorcycle is fighting against the [direction] of the wind…[R]iders should plan, measure, and test-drive the shields before using it on their regular commute,” Ilagan told news show 24 Oras in Filipino.
LOOK: Governor Art Yap has submitted this design to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging…
This article, Not really sitting together? PH gov’t OKs compact motorcycle shield against COVID-19, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!