Duterte against face shield policy? DOH can still appeal, says Duque
MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III believes the Department of Health (DOH) can still appeal to make the wearing of face shields still mandatory after President Rodrigo Duterte supposedly agreed that face shields should only be worn in hospitals.
“Of course we will follow PRRD’s (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) directive but I believe we can still appeal,” Duque told INQUIRER.net in a text message on Thursday.
“We will take this up at the IATF meeting this p.m.,” he added, referring to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management for Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The Health Secretary said this in response to a tweet of Senate President Vicente Sotto III saying that Duterte has agreed that face shields should only be worn in hospitals.
In December, the IATF started requiring the public to wear face shields “whenever they go out of their residences” as stated in Resolution No. 88. Before this resolution, the government only required the wearing of face shields in the workplace, public transportation, or when entering enclosed commercial establishments such as malls.
On Wednesday, Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said face shields may not be worn when outdoors as the risk of transmitting COVID-19 in such a setting is low.
The DOH then added that the wearing of face shields only in specific settings “has always been the standing policy” of the agency.
Some doctors have been asking the government to rethink its policy on wearing face shields, saying that the protective equipment—particularly the hospital-grade variety—works only in hospital settings or in indoor and poorly ventilated areas.
The DOH, however, has stressed that there are studies that show wearing face shields on top of face masks can provide better protection against COVID-19.
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