The Department of Health (DOH) said on Tuesday, Nov. 30 that there is no need to revert back to the usage of face shields with the continued dip in coronavirus cases (COVID-19) that the country is experiencing.
In an interview on ANC, Dr. Althea de Guzman, medical specialist at the DOH Epidemiology Bureau said that they are leaving to private establishments to mandate the use of face shields.
“But right now, there is no need at this very low transmission level na idagdag natin yung face shield (to use face shields),” she said.
As the transmission level continues to go down, De Guzman said the country really needs to open sectors but in a safe manner. She explained that currently, face masks will be able to provide the needed protection as the country slowly opens the economy.
The transmission, according to De Guzman, is not artificial because there is also a very low hospital utilization rate.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III mentioned on Monday, Nov. 29 emphasized the protection that face shields would provide amid the threat of the Omicron variant. He told the President during his meeting with health experts and Cabinet officials that he still uses a face shield.
He reiterated its use in the so-called 3Cs context which includes closed spaces, crowded areas, and close contact settings. He added that this should be done since the transport sector has increased the carrying capacities of Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs).
“I think now with the threat of this Omicron variant it will be an added layer of protection that will really be good for the public,” he said.
On Nov. 15, President Duterte approved the Inter-Agency Task Force’s (IATF) recommendation to lift the mandatory use of face shields, making it voluntary in areas under Alert Level 1 to 3.