President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday night said Filipinos will only need to wear face shields on top of face masks in enclosed and crowded places for added protection against the deadly coronavirus Delta variant.The country’s top medical experts from the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) recommend the use of face shields in situations considered “high risk activities” such as those under the “Three Cs” or closed, crowded, and close contact, President Duterte said during a meeting on government’s COVID-19 interventions.
These include indoor establishments, transportation services, mass gatherings, and other activities that promote close contact with other individuals, he said, noting that individuals are no longer required to wear face shields outdoors.
“Ang limitasyon, ang face shields gamitin mo Three Cs: closed whatever facility, ospital o basta magkadikit-dikit; crowded, ganoon rin, it’s a crowded room tapos closed lahat, mas delikado; and saka ang close contact, kung magkadikit-dikit ang tao. So diyan applicable pa rin ang face shield,” he said.
“Iyon ang recommendation. Labas sa tatlong limitations, puwede na hindi na gumamit. Eh iyon ang recommendation, ‘yun ang masunod,” he added.
According to the President, the inconvenience of wearing a face shield is miniscule compared to the added protection that it offers against COVID-19, especially against the deadly Delta variant.
“Ngayon, sabi ko takot ako sa — lalo na ‘yung pagdating ng COVID D. I got so scared that I ordered the reimposition of the face shields. Ang akin naman nito sabi ko any — maski gaano kaliit ‘yung contributing factor niya to avoid COVID, okay na lang,” he said.
Apart from using face shields, face masks and maintaining social distancing, President Duterte also reminded Filipinos to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as the vaccines are available in their locality.
The President, however, discouraged individuals as well as local government units (LGUs) from choosing vaccine brands, noting the limited global supply of vaccines.
The President said there is no need to prefer a particular vaccine brand because all vaccines procured by the country and approved by regulators have been proven safe and effective, adding that vaccine efficacy is based on stringent medical research and procedures.
President Duterte said he also instructed vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. to ensure fair and equal distribution of vaccine brands across the country
“Because if you give the Pfizer to one city, sabihin ng iba kami pala dito sa ibang city? Kulang ng supply. Hindi puwede ‘yan,” he pointed out.
“Sabi ko pareho ‘yan lahat, huwag kayong mamili kung anong nandiyan ipadala sa inyo and specifically my order to Sec Galvez na wag niya do it purposefully to give Pfizer sa — haluin mo ‘yan lahat. Huwag kayong mamili.”
The Philippines has received more than 66 million coronavirus vaccines through government and private sector procurements as well as donations from China, United States, and the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility. PND