THE mandatory use of face shield will no longer be required, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday.
The President approved the recommendation of the Technical Advisory Group and medical experts to limit the use of face shields to the so-called 3Cs, which refers to “closed and crowded” spaces, and activities that “promote close contact.”
Duterte said he had ordered that implementing guidelines be issued immediately.
“Ang sabi ko maski gaano kaliit ‘yung contributing factor niya to avoid Covid, okay na lang (I told them no matter how small its contributing factor to avoid Covid, it’s okay). What’s an inconvenience? But I was informed that the Technical Advisory Group and the medical experts agreed that it can be removed outside. No more face shields outside,” he said.
“‘Yun ang recommendation, ‘yun ang masunod (That’s their recommendation, so we will follow that),” he added.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) required the use of face shields and face masks outside of residence in December 2020.
However, Duterte in June this year ordered the public to wear face shields only in hospitals.
The President later decided to keep the IATF-EID’s policy on the mandatory use of face shields in public spaces, given the presence of the more infectious Delta variant of Covid-19.
The Palace had said there was “scientific basis” that wearing both face masks and face shields contributed to the substantial reduction of Covid-19 infections in the country.
A recent study by The Lancet, a leading international medical journal, found that wearing a mask can decrease the risk of catching Covid-19 by 78 percent.
The result of the study also showed that the risk of transmission is cut by 85 percent if a face shield is worn in addition to the mask.
The World Health Organization earlier said it was reviewing the Philippines’ experience in using face shields as an additional layer of protection.