DOH urges public to assess ‘individual risk’ as easing of indoor mask mandate looms | Inquirer News

DOH urges public to assess ‘individual risk’ as easing of indoor mask mandate looms

/ 04:37 PM October 25, 2022
The DOH is urging the public to evaluate “individual risk” to know if it will be “safe and wise” for them not to wear face masks.

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MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is urging the public to evaluate “individual risk” to know if it will be “safe and wise” for them not to wear face masks.

This appeal came after the announcement that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will issue an executive order making the wearing of face masks indoors voluntary.

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“Moreover, the decision to ease masking empowers each and every one of us by giving us the choice to decide based on our personal context and risk appetite,” the DOH said in a statement.

“With this freedom to choose, it is therefore important for us to assess our individual risk thoroughly before deciding if it is safe and wise to remove our masks, especially now that the Undas and Christmas seasons are approaching and we expect increased COVID-19 transmission brought about by greater mobility,” it added.

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The DOH nevertheless reminded the public that it is still better to employ layers of protection – like wearing face masks, physical distancing, ventilation, and sanitation – against COVID-19.

“The more layers of protection we employ, the more protected we are against COVID-19,” it said.

The anticipated move to lift the mandatory wearing of masks indoors came despite the reported local transmission of the “highly immune-evasive” XBB Omicron subvariant and XBC variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the serious respiratory illness COVID-19.

READ: DOH reports local transmission of Omicron XBB subvariant, XBC variant

Last September, Marcos issued an executive order allowing the voluntary wearing of face masks in outdoor settings nationwide.

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