MANILA - The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday advised the public against using face masks with valves in enclosed spaces as it does not prevent the spread of COVID-19.
FDA director-general Eric Domingo said the mask may be used in open areas or places where people are 1 to 2 meters part.
Some hospitals have also prohibited its use as it leaves patients more vulnerable to the virus, he added.
"Karamihan po kasi sa masks na may valve, hindi po registered iyan as a medical device. Designed po sila for industrial use, sa mga construction workers, karpintero. Ang talaga kini-keep out niya 'yung abo o particles. Hindi siya designed for infection control," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(Most masks with valve are not registered as a medical devise. They are designed for industrial use, for construction workers, carpenters. It keeps out particles, it's not designed for infection control.)
"Ang virus at bacteria (na papasok) nasasala niya, ang palabas po hindi."
(It keeps out incoming virus and bacteria but does not prevent these from coming out.)
The use of surgical and cloth face masks is advised to prevent the virus' spread, Domingo said.
The Philippines as of Monday reported 68,898 cases of COVID-19, with 23,072 recoveries and 1,835 deaths.