MANILA — The return of mandatory use of face shields in public places amid the threat posed by the Omicron COVID-19 variant should be based on science, Vice President Leni Robredo said Tuesday.
Her statement came after President Rodrigo Duterte said he's okay with Filipinos being required to wear face shields again in public as the country braces for the possible entry of the Omicron variant.
Robredo noted that the World Health Organization has not advised the mandatory use of face shields amid the threat of the newest coronavirus variant, which the international agency said poses "high-risk" danger.
"Sinabi ng WHO hindi nire-recommend na gawing mandatory siya, so sa akin, anuman ang desisyon, kailangan naka-base sa ano ba yung pagtingin ng experts tungkol dito,” she said in a statement.
(The WHO is not recommending the mandatory use of face shields, so for me, whatever the government's decision is, it should be based on experts' views.)
Dr. Edsel Salvaña, a member of the Department of Health's Technical Advisory Group and an infectious disease specialist, said earlier Tuesday that the mandatory use of face shields in public places may not be "necessarily required" for now.
He instead called on the public to get vaccinated and continue observing health protocols.
"Ngayon kasi, mababa talaga 'yung number of cases. Baka naman hindi pa necessarily required," Salvaña told TeleRadyo.
(For now, our number of cases is low. It may not be necessarily required.)
The Philippines on Tuesday reported 425 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest daily tally so far this year, data from the health department showed.
— With a report from Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News