The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and its vaccine expert panel (VEP) welcomed Monday, June 21, the decision of President Duterte to make mandatory the wearing of face shields, both indoors and outdoors, again.
DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña and VEP chair Dr. Nina Gloriani thanked the Chief Executive for listening to the country’s health experts who strongly recommended the continued use of face shields.
“I think this is best at this point . Our medical experts also gave that advice to us,” de la Peña said in a Viber message to the Manila Bulletin after Presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced that the President declared the wearing of face shields, both indoors and outdoors, “is still mandatory.”
The decision was made upon the advice of health experts and as a precaution against the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID), which was first detected in India.
Gloriani, who strongly opposed the lifting of the face shield policy, heaved a sigh of relief.
“This is what we want as medical experts for mainly two reasons: our immunization coverage is still very low at around 5 percent , and the variants are there to deal with,” she said in a Viber message to the Manila Bulletin.
“The face shield adds to the protection especially sa (for the) eyes. With the mask alone, one may get 90 percent protection, but with the face shield, that goes up to over 95 percent to even 99 percent protection, plus distancing and short exposures in enclosed spaces,” she explained.
She urged the public to continue practicing the minimum public health precautions, especially now that the Department of Health (DOH) reported four new additional cases of Delta variant, pushing the total to 17 cases.
De la Peña said over the weekend that the DOST is still recommending the continued use of face shields in public spaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The DOST sits as a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).