‘Sinong genius nambola sa gobyerno?’ Sotto asks on DOH mask, shield policy
MANILA, Philippines — “Sinong genius ang nambola sa gobyerno?”
This was the question posed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III after seeing the report the Department of Health (DOH) submitted to the Senate, which showed that no other country in the world—except the Philippines—mandate its citizens to use both face masks and shields.
The DOH cited the face protection requirements in four countries and one state in the United States, according to a briefer from Sotto’s office on the DOH report to the Senate.
“It’s confirmed even from DOH records, no other country mandates the use of face shields on top of masks. It’s Either Or!” Sotto tweeted Tuesday night.
It's confirmed even from DOH records, no other country mandates the use of face shields on top of masks. It's EITHER OR! SG n Taiwan, mask only!
— Tito Sotto (@sotto_tito) June 22, 2021
“Sinong genius ang nambola sa gobyerno?” he said in a separate message shared with reporters.
Below is the list of territories mandating the use of face shields based on DOH data submitted to the Senate Monday, June 21:
China – shifting from masks to face shields (data from June 16, 2020)
South Korea – shifting from masks to face shields (data from June 16, 2020)
Malta – issued standards on the use of face masks OR visors/face shields in the community
State of Oregon (U.S.) – issued standards on the use of face masks, covering, OR face shields
United Kingdom – issued official advice that face shields (also known as visors) be worn by staff who work in close contact with members of the public, such as hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattoo artists and studio photographers
“So, saan o sinong expert may sabi na dapat sabay?” Sotto asked.
Earlier, Sotto asked government officials during a Senate Committee of the Whole hearing last week if they have considered “discontinuing” the mandated use of face shields in the country.
In response, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III had told the Senate that the use of face shields coupled with face masks and social distancing would provide “greater than 95 percent protection” against the deadly virus, citing various scientific studies.
Sotto then requested the submission of the studies and a list of countries that are mandating the use of face shields.
It was in December when the government’s pandemic task force required people outside of their residences to wear both face shields and face masks at all times.
On Thursday last week, Sotto said President Rodrgo Duterte agreed that face shields should only be worn in hospitals, which Malacañang later said is now considered a policy.
But on Monday, Duterte, according to his spokesman, declared that the wearing of face masks both indoors and outdoors is still mandatory following the “advice of health experts and in view of the Delta variant.”
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