DILG renews call to wear face masks even at home amid COVID-19 surge
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday reiterated using face masks even at home after Metro Manila hospitals “family clustering” of coronavirus cases.
DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya noted that Interior Secretary Eduardo Año made the same suggestion last year when COVID-19 cases were at its peak.
“Actually kung maaalala niyo, si Secretary Año nabatikos dyan last year when Secretary Año suggested na mag-face mask sa loob ng bahay, but you know he has been vindicated,” Malaya said in an online press briefing.
(Actually if you can remember, Secretary Año was criticized last year after he suggested the wearing of face masks inside homes, but you know he has been vindicated.)
“We really need to do that. Especially kung galing ka sa labas, hindi ka naman sigurado, magface mask ka na lang para hindi mo mahawaan ang iyong mga kapamilya,” he added.
(We really need to do that. Especially when you go outside, just wear a face mask at home to prevent virus transmission.)
However, Malaya noted that the DILG can only call on the public to observe minimum public health standards while at their own residences.
In August last year during the surge of COVID-19 cases, Año suggested the wearing of face masks and practicing physical distancing at home to help prevent transmission of the coronavirus among family members.
“Dapat ang best try ay gawin nila. Ang pinaka-importante dyan, kung talagang hindi nila maiiwasan [to be close to each other], talagang magsuot sila ng mask. Advisable din ‘yung face shield dyan,” Año earlier said.
(They should try their best to prevent being infected. What is important is if they cannot avoid being close to each other, just wear a face mask. Wearing a face shield is also advisable.)
Malaya said that since authorities cannot police the public in their homes, people should have “individual discipline” and “individual responsibility” to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Definitely we cannot police the public in their respective homes, sa kanilang mga bahay. It is already their responsibility and I hope they will adhere to the minimum health standards even if they are at home,” he added.
Earlier, Philippine College of Emergency Medicine President Dr. Pauline Convocar said they have observed a “family clustering” of COVID-19 cases. She noted that this observation is “unusual.”
“I confirm we are experiencing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases across all emergency departments or hospitals. Not only that, there is family clustering, which is unusual,” she said on Sunday. — Liezelle Soriano Roy, Trainee
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