Expert: Face shields extra barrier vs Delta variant
MANILA, Philippines — Infectious disease expert Edsel Salvana on Friday said he would still recommend the use of face shields even outdoors because they offer extra protection, especially with the threat posed by the more transmissible COVID Delta variant.
President Duterte has said face shields should only be used in hospitals, but the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases recommended that these still be required in enclosed/indoor spaces of hospitals, schools, workplaces, commercial establishments, public transport and terminals, and places of worship.
Salvana, a member of the Department of Health’s technical advisory group, noted that the Delta variant first detected in India is 60 percent more transmissible than the Alpha variant, which is already 60 percent more transmissible than the original virus.
There is also preliminary data that even outdoors, the Delta variant has an increased transmissibility of about 40 percent, he said.
“Even if they say a face shield is no longer required, with the threat of this Delta variant, I will still use a face shield. I will recommend it because it is an extra layer of protection,” he said at the Laging Handa briefing.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Friday said he was confused about who in the COVID-19 task force was responsible for making the face shield policy since President Duterte and pandemic managers, Secretaries Carlito Galvez Jr. and Vince Dizon, all agreed there was no need for the public to use face shields.
The three officials, “when I talked to them, agreed that face shields should only be worn in hospitals,” Sotto told reporters.
But at a Senate committee hearing on Wednesday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the COVID-19 task force still considered face shields as additional protection against community transmission of the virus. INQ
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