Speaker Lord Alan Velasco, leader of the House of Representatives, has finally spoken out against the continuing mandated use of face shields among Filipinos, which has been widely described as “impractical.”
In a letter sent to President Duterte, in his capacity as head of the Inter-Agency Anti-Covid19 Task Force (IATF), Velasco said it is time for the government to reconsider the face shield mandate being imposed throughout the archipelago as “protection against airborne transmission is already sufficiently addressed by the proper use of face masks.”
Velasco, who has been one of the staunchest supporters of Mr. Duterte since the start of his term in 2016, said there is no medical proof whatsoever that the use of face shields prevents the transmission of the virus.
He cited the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that face shields are best in a hospital setting, particularly for those providing direct care to patients infected with Covid19.
Speaker Velasco also cited an article by researchers from the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases saying face shields do not give additional protection against respiratory aerosol such as those present in Covid19.
It was also pointed out that the Philippines is the only country in the world which maintains a face shield mandate for its 110 million population.
“The rest of the world universally considers the following as effective interventions to prevent the spread of Covid19: proper wearing of face masks, regularly washing and disinfecting of hands or high-touch surfaces and ensuring proper ventilation in indoor spaces,” Velasco pointed out to Mr. Duterte.