The government is encouraging Filipinos to wear face shields in public spaces with low ventilation to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Malacañang said yesterday.
In a press statement, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Diseases (IATF-EID) is considering directing the public to use face shields to complement the wearing of face masks in low ventilation settings, including public transportation.
He, however, clarified that there is no order yet compelling the public to wear face shields.
“Studies have shown that wearing of face shields, in addition to wearing of masks and physical distancing, would further reduce virus transmission in low ventilation settings,” said Roque, who also serves as IATF-EID spokesperson.
He said wearing face shields is also part of the minimum public health standards that need to be observed amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Other minimum health standards that must be followed by the public are the wearing of face masks, washing of hands, and the practice of physical distancing.
“The IATF, in its Omnibus Guidelines, defines minimum public health standards as ‘public health measures that do not involve vaccines, medications, or other pharmaceutical interventions, which individuals and communities can carry out in order to reduce transmission rates, contact rates, and the duration of infectiousness of individuals in the population to mitigate Covid-19,’” Roque said.
The IATF-EID, in its Resolution 60-A approved on Thursday, also required all government units (LGUs) to observe the strict enforcement of minimum public health standards, especially in high-risk areas, such as “health care settings, wet markets, supermarkets, government offices, and workplaces.”
In concurrence with regional IATF, the LGUs are also mandated to impose localized community quarantine and ensure the availability of identified quarantine facilities in critical areas with community transmission.
They are also told to immediately isolate infected individuals, scale up the local health capacity, and submit complete and accurate Covid-19 data. Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, and Zamboanga City will be under general community quarantine (GCQ) from August 1 to 15.
GCQ has also been imposed in Cebu’s Talisay City, Minglanilla, and Consolacion. The rest of the country, on the other hand, has been placed under modified GCQ.*PNA