Use of gasoline for face masks ‘joke only,’ says Palace
Malacañang on Thursday downplayed President Rodrigo Duterte’s advice given during a speech early this week about using gasoline to disinfect face masks, saying it was said in jest.
“The President has been in power for four years [but] it’s like you still don’t know him well,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said. “Joke only! Why would we use gasoline to wash masks with?” he added.
The Department of Health later issued a similar comment, saying that the Chief Executive couldn’t have been serious in his advice.
Mr. Duterte had quipped that Filipinos can reuse their face mask by using gasoline to disinfect it if they don’t have money for disinfectant solutions.
“It’s true. If you want disinfection, look for gasoline,” the President said in his remarks aired on Tuesday.
Netizens had a field day ridiculing the remarks in the days that followed.
Roque stressed that Mr. Duterte’s point was that he would give away free masks to Filipinos, especially the poor.
He added that while single-use surgical masks cannot be reused, cloth masks can be washed and reused although these are not as effective as N88 or N95 disposable masks.
Gasoline, a flammable liquid, is not among the list of disinfectants prescribed for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The United States Environmental Protection Agency listed ethyl and isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and chlorine dioxide as disinfectants against the virus.
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