MANILA – The lifting of the face mask mandate depends on Covid-19 metrics monitored nationwide, an infectious diseases expert said Monday.
In a televised public briefing, Dr. Rontgene Solante said the healthcare utilization rate is one of the factors being considered regarding the mandatory wearing of face masks.
“So, ibig sabihin kapag hindi pa ganun kataas ang healthcare utilization rate, like less than 50 percent, pwede tayong mag-optional sa mask (So, if the healthcare utilization rate, like less than 50 percent, we can go optional on the mask),” he said.
However, the government would not allow the discontinuation of face mask use if the average daily attack rate goes up, he added.
Earlier, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said the government may consider wearing face masks optional if it is clearly safe.
“Kung magtatanggal man tayo ng mandate sa face mask, unang matatanggal diyan o magiging optional ang pagsusuot ng mask sa outdoor na because of the risk for the indoor (If we forgo the face mask mandate, the first to be affected, or become optional, is the wearing of face mask outdoors because of the risk for the indoor),” Solante said.
“So far, at this point, talagang we have to monitor especially now tumataas pa ang positivity rate although stable naman ang healthcare utilization rate (we really have to monitor especially now the positivity rate is going up although the healthcare utilization rate is stable),” he added.
As of July 9, the positivity rate in the National Capital Region is at 10.9 percent from last week’s 8.3 percent.
Other areas with positivity rate over 10 percent include Aklan at 26.9 percent; Antique, 17.8 percent; Batangas, 11.3 percent; Capiz, 18.8 percent; Cavite, 14.9 percent; Iloilo, 11 percent; Isabela, 10.3 percent; Laguna, 18.2 percent; Nueva Ecija, 14 percent; Pampanga, 16.5 percent; Rizal, 16.6 percent; and Tarlac, 16.7 percent. (PNA)