(PNA photo by Joey O. Razon)

MANILA – The Department of Health is urging the public to continue wearing face masks, whether these are required or not, as it is still the best way to protect oneself against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

In a Viber message to reporters, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said Resolution Number 1, series of 2022 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is only recommendatory and has been submitted for the consideration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

“The position of the DOH is for us to continue on masking, but there were several data that were presented also that led to this decision,” she said.

“We needed to balance between the health and economy, and what we have compromised would be, this will be done among low risk individuals and in low risk settings."

Vergeire defined low-risk individuals as persons who are not senior citizens, without comorbidities, not children, and not having symptoms of Covid-19.

Low risk settings are outdoor places that are not crowded and with good ventilation.

Citing the many benefits of such practice, the DOH said the wearing of face masks protects the senior citizens and individuals with comorbidities against Covid-19 and prevents the spread of coughs and colds.

Meanwhile, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go is urging the public to still wear face masks amid the clamor to remove the protocol in open spaces.
 
Naniniwala ako na mas disiplinado tayo, pwede naman magmask kung hindi discomfort sa atin, mag face mask na lang po tayo (I believe we are disciplined. If we could wear the face mask without discomfort, then let us wear a face mask),” he told reporters during his visit to Pangasinan on Thursday.
 
Go said there is still the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), especially to immuno-compromised individuals.
 
Hanggat nandyan ang Covid dahil hindi ito nakikita, delikado pa rin kaya bakit di na lang natin antayin na tuluyang maglaho at maabot ang herd immunity at di na tatalab saka totally matanggal na (As long as Covid-19 is there because it cannot be seen, there is still the danger. So why not just wait a little longer for it to totally vanish and we would meet the herd immunity to ensure it will no longer affect us),” he said.
 
However, Go said he will support whatever the national government decides to implement.
 
“Whatever the government decides, it means it was well studied and it is based on good science. We may just adjust little by little to it,” he added.
 
Go also urged the public to continue following the minimum public health standards to prevent another surge of Covid-19. (PNA)