The DOH reminded the public to follow the minimum health standards after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its guidelines, saying that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread through airborne particles.
This developed as the total number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country jumped to 331,869 on Thursday as another 2,363 new infections were detected with the Department of Health (DOH) stressing again the importance of observing the health protocols.
“The Department stressed the importance of wearing a mask as part of the prescribed minimum health standards to ensure utmost protection from COVID-19,” it said.
However, the DOH said that more studies are needed to establish airborne transmission of COVID-19.
Citing infectious disease expert Dr, Edsel Salvana, the DOH said that “the virus is already assumed to be airborne when conducting aerosol generating procedures in hospitals.”
“But more definitive studies are necessary to say that this is also the case for non-healthcare settings. This is why we need to err on the side of caution, the public is enjoined to wear masks and practice the minimum health standards,” it said.
The DOH said that the “effectiveness of personal protective equipment such as face masks, face shields, and physical distancing should not be underestimate.”
“According to studies, wearing masks lower the chance of transmission by up to 85 percent, while maintaining a physical distance of one meter reduces the risk of transmission by 80 percent,” it said.
In its latest report, the DOH said that 858 of the new cases still came from Metro Manila. Cavite came in the second spot with 309, followed by Batangas with 139, Rizal with 112, and Bulacan with 97.
With the new infections, the number of active cases or currently ill patients was pushed to 51,482, the DOH said.
The DOH said that 144 more people lost their lives, raising the deaths linked to COVID-19 in the country to 6,069. The DOH added that 697 new patients were also cleared of the illness, bringing the tally of recoveries to 274,318.