Health Ministry Implements Bubble System

In light of the recent spike in the number of cases afflicted with the virus, the Ministry of Public Health implemented the bubble system. This refers to limiting the number of people to meet, to contain the infection.

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Aside from reducing contact with other people outside the family, the health official also reminded the public to observe health protocols such as wearing a face mask, keeping distance, avoid crowds, and washing hands frequently. Restrictions that were put in place last year are once again implemented.

Observe physical distancing

How the Bubble System Works

In a recent press briefing, Dr. Abdul Lahtif explained the concept of the bubble system. This pertains to limiting exposure or contact to certain people that one meets frequently. This group will become a person’s bubble system. It is advisable to meet only with one’s group bubble, and limit contact with people outside the group.

The bubble system can include one’s family members and friends. On the other hand, a group of friends can also follow this system by limiting their contact with friends that they frequently see. By reducing the number of people to meet, the rate of infection could be lessened.

Furthermore, following the health protocols is one way to ensure that the virus will not spread faster. This means that people going outside should wear a face mask, observe physical distancing, and avoiding large crowds. Besides, one must wash hands regularly with soap and water, or hand sanitizer.

Here is the statement from the Ministry of Public Health:

“The concept of applying a COVID-19 bubble system is when a group of people that frequently meets in limited numbers does not come into contact with members of other families or groups as much as possible. Friends who meet frequently can also apply this system so that their number remains limited and fixed and they don’t come into contact with other people.”

“If families and groups of friends manage to maintain these bubbles, then we will be able to contain the virus.” – Dr. Abdul Lahtif

Bubble System in Qatar
Photo Credit: MOPH Twitter

Recently, the number of people infected with the virus has increased. Despite being able to control the cases last year, the infection rate increased again. Because of this development, certain restrictions are in place. Here are some of the restrictions:

  • Public transportation will operate at 30% capacity during weekdays and 20% on weekends. Passengers will observe physical distancing inside the vehicle and at the waiting areas.
  • Malls and shopping centers will operate at 30% capacity, while food courts will only serve take-out meals.
  • Offices will operate at 80% capacity, and meetings will be conducted online. Meanwhile, essential meetings can still be conducted physically, with only five people in attendance.
  • Parks, water parks, and leisure centers will close.
  • Schools will employ a blended learning system that will utilize online and physical classes. Only 30% of the student capacity is allowed.

Bubble System In Other Countries

The bubble system is not a foreign concept. New Zealand started this concept in 2020, wherein certain groups of people can have physical contact with each other, but should maintain distance with people outside the group. The family members are the initial members of the bubble. Eventually and slowly, the bubble group can extend to extended family members and close friends. This bubble can then expand and merge with other bubble systems. Countries under the United Kingdom also followed and implemented this concept in June 2020.

In the Philippines, a similar bubble system called “NCR Plus Bubble” was implemented from March 22 to April 4, 2021. In this set-up, authorized people are allowed to go out for essential travel. The destination is limited to the cities and municipalities in Metro Manila plus Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

Adherence to health protocols is needed to contain the virus. Even if the vaccine is available, everyone should still observe proper hygiene to combat the spread of infection.

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