The new guidelines on the use of face shields will be out soon to provide the public clear-cut policies on where it should be worn as the country continues its uphill battle against the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), a Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) official said on Thursday, Sept. 23.
“Base nga sa direktiba ni Pangulo, ating aamyendahan yung ating mga memorandum circulars on anong description nitong crowded areas (Based on the President’s directive, we will amend our memorandum circular on the description of the crowded areas),’’ DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said in an interview over ABS-CBN.
On Sept. 22, President Duterte confirmed having approved the recommendation of government advisers that the use of face shields can be lifted in areas that do not fall under the 3C meaning those under the crowded, closed and close contact categories.
The President noted that there is no need for the public to use face shields in open spaces.
“Sa bagong panuntunan na ating gagawin, ide-define natin yung mga lugar na considered crowded. So, halimbawa, ang palengke. Ang palengke ay, may mga palengkeng open area pero considered crowded. So ide-define po natin ‘tong mga crowded areas (In the new guidelines that we will make, we will define the places that are considered crowded. So, for example the wet market. There are wet markets that are open areas but are considered crowded. So we will define these crowded areas),’’ Densing said.
“In other words, we will be very specific ano itong mga crowded areas na ide-define natin,” he added.
Densing said their new memorandum may define not only crowded spaces but also “crowded activities.”
“Dahil ‘di na po natin ‘pagagamit yung face shield, eh, magde-define din po tayo kung ano yung crowded areas, at mga crowded activities (Since we defer the use of face shields, we will also define the crowded areas as well as the crowded activities),’’ Densing noted.
Citing as an example those planning to go outdoors for their political exercises, Densing said they will define this meaning that they will come out with a clear description of these areas and activities.
In June this year, Duterte limited the use of the plastic face coverings on top of face masks to hospitals but a few days later, the President required face shields in public areas anew both indoors and outdoors after the Department of Health (DOH) reported the first few COVID-19 Delta variant cases. (Chito A. Chavez)