IATF-EID eyes total lifting of face shield use

By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

November 2, 2021, 4:06 pm

MANILA – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is studying the possibility of lifting the current policy on the use of face shields in the country, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

In an online press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the significant drop in the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases might persuade the IATF-EID to withdraw the requirement of wearing a face shield on top of a face mask.

“I can confirm po na habang bumababa ang mga numero, eh pinag-uusapan na rin po kung ipagpapatuloy pa ang pagsusuot ng face shields (I can confirm that while the number [of Covid-19] infections continue to decline, we are discussing whether it is still necessary to wear face shields),” Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, said.

On Monday, the Philippines logged just 3,117 new Covid-19 infections, bringing the total case count in the country to 2,790,375.

There are 43,185 active Covid-19 cases, 2,703,914 recoveries, and 43,276 fatalities.

Roque, however, clarified that despite the decline in Covid-19 cases, the IATF-EID has yet to decide on the use of face shields.

“So, tama po kayo. Dahil bumababa ang numero, marami na ang nagsasabi sa IATF na na baka dapat itigil na rin ang pagsusuot ng face shields. Pero wala pa pong desisyon. So, suot pa rin po tayo ng face shield (So, you’re right. While the number is going down, many IATF members are saying that perhaps, we could stop the wearing of face shields),” he said.

Roque also reminded the public to continue wearing face shields in enclosed and crowded spaces.

On Dec. 14, 2020, the IATF-EID issued Resolution 88, mandating all persons to wear full-coverage face shields on top of face masks in all public places to reduce Covid-19 transmission.

Duterte in June this year ordered the public to wear face shields only in hospitals but immediately decided to keep the IATF-EID’s original policy following the presence of the more infectious Delta variant.

He, however, decided in September this year to just limit the use of face shields in the so-called “3Cs,” which refers to “closed and crowded spaces, and close contact.” (PNA)