DOH exec recommends 'double masking' amid Covid-19 cases rise

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

March 18, 2021, 7:41 pm

<p>Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Leopoldo “Bong” Jumalon Vega <em>(File photo)</em></p>

Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Leopoldo “Bong” Jumalon Vega (File photo)

MANILA – Saying the transmissibility of Covid-19 is getting out of hand, a health official on Thursday underscored the need to enhance the minimum public health standards by observing double masking and strict granular lockdown.

“We can double mask, do a granular or zonal lockdown like in August or September [2020] to cut transmission in communities,” Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Leopoldo “Bong” Jumalon Vega said in a virtual Palace presser.

He made the recommendation as the DOH on Thursday reported 5,290 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, bringing the country’s total active cases to 66,567.

The DOH also logged 21 new deaths and 439 new recoveries that pushed the death toll to 12,887 and overall recoveries to 561,530.

Vega called the cases surge as “alarm bells” but it is more important for the government to ensure that the public adhere to minimum public health standards.

“Aside from that (double masking) is of course the other recommendations of siyempre iyong (course is the) ventilation, if you are in a group you have to be in a well-ventilated area,” he said.

He said observing enhanced minimum public health standards against the virus is a shared responsibility of every Filipino.

“Ini-emphasize ko ito (I emphasized this) because as you all know the transmissibility or the contagiousness of this virus is getting to be out of hand. And for me, minimum health standards dapat i-enhance na natin (we should enhance) individually, this is a shared responsibility and the individual change of behavior and we have to enhance what we are trying to do now so that on our end as an individual person, we contribute for the common good of the community by enhancing what public standards there are,” Vega said.

Apart from double masking and having proper ventilation, Vega recommended observance of social hygiene – not interacting with a person for a long time and not staying in a crowded place.

As for wearing face masks at home, Vega said this may not be needed if families just mingle amongst themselves.

“But if you have a grandmother there and you work as health care worker and you know very well that the pre-clinical phase of Covid, you can easily transmit, so I would advise better to have mask,” he added. (PNA)