Not yet time to remove face mask mandate, says Duque | Inquirer News

Not yet time to remove face mask mandate, says Duque

/ 12:37 PM March 17, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — It is not yet time to remove the requirement to wear face masks even as COVID-19 cases in the country are dipping, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Thursday.

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During the Laging Handa briefing, Duque said the country should still be “prudent” with the adjustments it is implementing amid the drop in cases.

“Tingin ko hindi pa panahon para magtanggal ng face mask at matuto tayo sa karanasan ng mga iba’t-ibang mga bansa sa Europa na kung saan tinanggal nila ang mask mandates,” Duque said.

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(I believe it is not yet the time to remove the face mask mandate. We should learn from the experiences of different countries in Europe where they removed their mask mandates.)

“Tingnan mo, naglipana na naman ang mga kaso. Ang Austria, ang Denmark, ang Germany, ang France. Gusto ba nating matulad sa kanila? Ayaw natin. So dahan-dahan tayo. Let us be prudent and let us be guided by data and science through our expert panel,” he added.

(There are a lot of cases there again—in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and France. Do we want to have the same experience? Of course not. We should be prudent.)

Duque said the government is studying possible changes as cases decline.

“Konting pasensya, pinag-aaralan po yan at darating at darating ang panahon kung kinakailangan magtanggal ng mask ay bakit naman hindi pero sa ngayon, masyadong premature, masyado pang maaga,” Duque said.

(Have some patience. We are studying this and when time comes that we can remove the mask mandate then why not? But right now, it’s still premature. It’s too early.)

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said that among the various pandemic interventions imposed by the government, the face mask mandate would be the “last to go.”

Vergeire said that aside from the new coronavirus disease, face masks have been protecting Filipinos from a lot of diseases, resulting in fewer numbers of respiratory infections in the country.

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TAGS: DoH, face mask mandate
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