It has been a long-standing debate in the country whether or not the face shield policy is necessary. The concern on the protocol reached the World Health Organization (WHO) and said they would look into the “Philippines’ experience” in using face shields to curb the spread of the virus.
According to Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO’s Representative to the Philippines, the country is one of the few nations that still advocate using face shields apart from face masks. He said, ‘It’s interesting that we have been able to sort of delay the speed by which the Delta variant is spreading, but we don’t know if the face shields are a contributory factor.’
The representative explained, ‘The face shields are being used to reduce the likelihood of infection through the eyes and so that’s not actually an additional layer [of protection]. Although it boosts the protection from poor wearing of mask practices.’
Abeyasinghe also highlighted that a single face mask worn properly and consistently effectively shields people against COVID-19. He added, ‘You don’t need double masking. You don’t need added layers. What you need is diligence in following public health standards.’
Back in June, the Malacañang had announced that face shields are not required in outdoor areas. After a few hours, President Rodrigo Duterte clarified that it’s a requirement again for people to wear it indoors and in public areas. His decision followed after seeking advice from health experts.
When asked if the government should revoke its face shield policy, the WHO official said, ‘While we’re understanding all of these issues, it’s best to look for evidence and make our decision based from that.’
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