The Department of Health (DOH) encouraged the public to wear two masks to better protect themselves against the threat of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“To further prevent virus transmission and mutation, choose the right mask for additional protection. Double masking is encouraged to maximize filtration and protection,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire during the Malacanang press briefing on Friday, Jan. 21.
Vergeire said they are recommending the wearing of a surgical mask underneath a cloth mask as this can reduce the risk of a person of being infected with the coronavirus.
“Kapag sinuot po natin ang surgical mask, maari po natin takpan ito ng isa pang layer and that would be our cloth mask para po appropriately fit sa ating mukha ang ating surgical mask (When we wear a surgical mask, we can cover it with another layer and that would be our cloth mask so that our surgical mask fits our face properly),” she said.
Meanwhile, Vergeire said the public can also use the N95 or KN95 type of face mask. However, she encouraged the public to reserve these masks for healthcare workers.
“Kung maari maireserba natin ang ganitong mask sa ating healthcare workers para pag dumating ang punto na nagkakashortage, narereserve po natin ang mga ganitong highly technical mask para sa kanila (If possible, we should reserve such masks for our healthcare workers so that when there is a shortage, we can reserve these highly technical masks for them),” she said.
Vergeire also reminded the public to always observe proper wearing of face masks when in public places.
“Masks should always cover your nose and mouth to ensure the most protection possible. No symptoms does not mean no COVID. Always wear masks for protection,” she said.
She also said that “there is no evidence that masks reduce oxygen levels.”
The DOH spokesperson also reminded Filipinos to make sure to change masks regularly.
Vergeire said it is recommended that surgical masks be disposed of after use or “replaced after every six hours or when soiled.”
Cloth masks should be washed after every use. Meanwhile, the N95 masks “should be replaced if it is teared, loose, or has gotten wet.”