DOH-7 exec to public: Know your risk classification before taking off face mask

By: Futch Anthony Inso - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | June 17,2022 - 04:17 PM
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, chief pathologist of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), says a person should know his risk classification before he or she would take off the face mask. | Futch Anthony Inso

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, chief pathologist of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), says a person should know his risk classification before he or she would take off the face mask. | Futch Anthony Inso

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines — A health official urged the public to know their risk classification before deciding to take off their face mask, especially in public places.

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, chief pathologist of the Department of Health (DOH-7), made such as statement after Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia issued an executive order (EO) making the wearing of face masks optional in open and well-ventilated areas.

“Kahibalo ka sa imong risk classification as a person, kahibalo ka nga dili ka vaccinated, kahibalo ka nga duna kay comorbidity, kahibalo ka nga daghan og tawo dinha, so why risk not wearing your face mask?,” Loreche said.

(You know your risk classification as a person, you know that you are not vaccinated, you know that you have a comorbidity, you know that there are a lot people in the area, so why risk not wearing your face mask?)

Aside from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Loreche said that the wearing of a face mask would also protect a person against other diseases, especially air-borne diseases, and pollution.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan earlier said that he would consult first his health team, especially Loreche, before deciding if the city would adopt the policy of the governor regarding the wearing of a face mask. 

Loreche serves as the city’s consultant for COVID-19 response.

Loreche encourages the public to continue wearing their face mask, even if the cases of COVID-19 have continued to decline.

“Pero sa karon, right now, let’s just wear it especially if naa kita sa indoor spaces, kung naa kita’y daghang tawo,” she added.

(But for now, right now, let’s just wear it, especially if we are in indoor spaces, if there are a lot of people.)

Mel Feliciano, Visayas Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) chief implementer, says the national government has made the wearing of face masks mandatory so the Cebuanos must observe this policy. | Futch Anthony Inso

Mel Feliciano, Visayas Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) chief implementer, says the national government has made the wearing of face masks mandatory so the Cebuanos must observe this policy. | Futch Anthony Inso

Mel Feliciano, Visayas Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) chief implementer, for his part, admitted that it was already safe to no longer wear a face mask in an outdoor setting, considering the high percentage of individuals that were already vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Actually, when you are outside, especially we have a higher percentage of vaccination rate, safe na rin siya basta outside, especially kun nasa resort at beach,” Feliciano said.

(Actually, when you are outside, especially we have higher percentage of vaccination rate, it is safe as long as it is outside, especially if you are at the resort or at the beach.)

However, Feliciano said that the national government had already decided to keep the wearing of face masks mandatory.

He said that the Cebuanos must observe this as a basis to continue wearing their face mask even in outdoor settings.

Feliciano also hoped that the national government and the provincial government of Cebu would coordinate in implementing protocols and guidelines to avoid confusion for the public.

“Nangyari na yan before dun sa testing sa incoming international passengers, and at that time, nagka-usap yung national and provincial leadership and they came out with an agreement. So I believe it’s more on the coordination with the national and provincial heads nitong pag-implement ng ating protocols and guidelines,” he said.

(That already happened before during the testing of incoming international passengers, and at that time, the national and provincial leadership talked and came out with an agreement. So I believe it’s more on coordination with the national and provincial heads in how to implement our protocols and guidelines.)

Loreche and Feliciano have both attended the 61st Charter Day celebration of the City of Lapu-Lapu on June 17, 2022.

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TAGS: Cebu‬, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, chief pathologist of the Department of Health (DOH-7), DOH-7, face mask, Feliciano, lapu-lapu, Loreche, risk classification

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