MANILA -- Filipinos who cannot buy N95 face masks due to high demand can improvise to protect themselves from ash fall, the Department of Health said Tuesday.
Diapers and undergarments such as bras and panties can be used to protect one’s nose and mouth from inhaling ash, Health Assistant Secretary Maria Laxamana told reporters in Malacañang.
“Ang diapers open so pwede po siya. Actually kung titingnan niyo ang mga diapers merong dry. Puwede niyong basain nang konti para hindi kayo ma-suffocate,” she said.
(Diapers can be used as alternative. Just wet it a bit to avoid suffocation.)
“Meron pa ibang creative ways of doing things. Isa po yung kamiseta, ilagay niyo po. Meron pong isang creative, yung bra at panty,” she added.
(You can also use a cloth. Another creative way is using bra and panty.)
Inhaling ash could lead to cough and difficulty and breathing. It could also irritate the eyes, the DOH said.
A regular, surgical mask can also be an alternative to the N95 face mask as long as a damp cloth is placed inside, she said.
The DOH suggested such alternatives as more people search for N95 face masks due to the threat of a “hazardous” eruption of the Taal Volcano.
The volcano on Sunday prompted evacuations in towns within its 14-kilometer radius after it spewed gray ash, steam, and rocks.
Ashfall from the vocano shut down the Southern Tagalog region, Metro Manila, and Central Luzon as authorities warned of health hazards.