Spiking number of Covid19 cases have prompted the Department of Health to urge the public to avoid using cloth masks in favor of surgical masks.
However, if it cannot be helped, they recommend using two cloth masks.
Health undersecretary Rosario Vergeire said that they were observing World Health Organization recommendations on the use of “medical grade masks or surgical masks.”
“It is the recommendation of WHO that if you are in high-risk settings like you have increasing cases and you detected transmissible variants of concern, you have to wear surgical masks instead of cloth masks,” she said at a town hall meeting.
“We are not saying they can no longer wear cloth masks but as much as possible, I hope they can use surgical masks because our cases are high,” she clarified.
She further pointed out that surgical masks have layers that can filter microorganisms in “specific particulate sizes”, a quality not present in cloth masks.
DOH-Technical Advisory Group member Anna Lisa Ong-Lim stressed the importance of wearing face masks properly. She said: “Whatever masks you have, if you will not wear them properly, you will not get enough benefits from it. The most important component is to wear the masks the right way.”
OCTA Research Group meanwhile, projected the number of cases to reach up to 16,000 a day by the following week. OCTA fellow Dr. Guido David said that the rise in cases in other parts of the country may dampen the effect of enhanced community quarantine.
“Overall, we’re expecting that the numbers will still rise,” he said. “It’s very likely that we will reach 15,000 to 16,000 by next week. In the National Capital Region (NCR) we are seeing a little slowdown, but it accelerated in Calabarzon and Central Luzon. There is a problem that we have to address.” This was due to many workers residing in neighboring provinces.
Photo: The Bangkok Post