MANILA — The Food and Drug Administration of the Philippines has reminded Filipinos that wearing valved masks as a precaution against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) can do more harm than good.
A valved mask, which has a filtered valve, is for industrial use and not medical grade. Local hospitals have earlier warned against using valved masks as a protection against COVID-19.
“Yung mask na may valve nagbibigay lang siya ng one-way protection,” FDA Director General Eric Domingo said during a televised briefing.
(Masks with valves only give one-way protection.)
Domingo explained that valved masks are often worn in construction sites to protect the wearer from dust. However, it is not designed to protect a person from viruses.
He explained that while air is filtered when the user inhales, the filter actually opens when the user exhales.
“Mas madali nga syang gamitin. Pero kung ako ay may virus huminga ako at nagexhale ako yung ibubuga kong hangin maaaring lumabas doon sa maskara at maexpose yung ibang mga tao,” Domingo said.
(It’s easier to use. But if you have the virus and you exhale, you can expose other people.)
“Mas gusto pa natin gumamit ng cloth mask lalo na yung may 2 o 3 layer na cloth dahil mas nakakaprotekta ito,” he said.
(We would rather use cloth masks, especially those with 2 or 3 layers of cloth because they can protect people better.)