Mask, shield enough but DOH to study double-mask option vs new COVID-19 variant


Posted at Jan 27 2021 01:33 PM

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MANILA — The Department of Health on Wednesday said it would look into whether or not wearing two face masks at a time would be more effective in avoiding COVID-19, with the new and more transmissible variant now in the country.

This after double masking was recommended by United States' top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who said it was “common sense” that having an added layer of physical covering can prevent respiratory droplets from spreading.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire pointed out that Filipinos have already been using additional protection.

“Kasi sa tingin natin 'yung isang mask na suot natin plus the face shield is enough to be protected. Mapapansin po natin from the time we implemented a mask and face shield hindi na masyado nagba-balloon. Although tumataas ang kaso pero nama-manage po natin,” Vergeire said during a Laging Handa briefing. 

(Because we think that wearing one mask and then a face shield is enough to be protected. We can see that from the time we implemented the mask and the face shield, our cases have not ballooned. Although cases have increased, it’s still manageable.)

“Kailangan lang ng enough evidence so that we can also recommend for this,” she said of double masking.

(We just need enough evidence so we can also recommend for this.)

“But I think 'yung isang mask which guarantees us itong proteksyon ng 60 to 70% plus yung face shield plus the physical distance which will give you about 99% protection is enough for now,” she said.

(But I think having one mask, which guarantees us protection of 60 to 70% plus having a face shield and practicing physical distancing, which will give you about 99% protection is enough for now.)

Unlike the Philippines, the United States does not require the use of face shields in public places. Many Americans also refuse using face masks.