WHO not recommending face shield use yet amid looming Omicron variant
MANILA, Philippines — The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday said face shields are not recommended yet despite the threat posed by the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
During the Laging Handa briefing, WHO Country Representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe noted that the coronavirus is transmitted through close contact, not by air.
“The WHO has right along said that this virus is not airborne. It’s close-contact transmission and that is why we emphasize that what is important is the physical distancing, and the face masking, and the hand hygiene,” he said.
“If we can ensure that those minimal requirements, those minimal public health measures are complied, we can ensure that people don’t congregate in closed settings, the requirement for face shields, probably at this point of time is not mandatory. Because as I said, we are still looking and understanding the transmission dynamics of the Omicron variant,” he added.
According to Abeyasinghe, the public must comply with the minimum health standards that are currently set in place while the reimplementation of face shield policy is being studied.
“So, it’s better to get public compliance with the measures that are there and take a risk-based approach to reanalyze whether we need to go to the use of face shields or not,” he said.
Earlier, National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said that the government is looking into the possibility of reimposing the face shield policy amid the Omicron variant threat.
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