(PNA photo by Joey O. Razon)

MANILA – The optional wearing of face masks outdoors may not affect the number of corona virus disease (2019) infections if it becomes a policy, the OCTA Research Group said Thursday.

This, after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) recommended on Wednesday the optional wearing of face masks in outdoor spaces that are not crowded and with good ventilation.

“So, maaaring hindi ganoon kabahagya na maapektuhan ang ating mga numero over the next few weeks but of course, tingnan natin ang mga datos natin (So, our number may not be that affected over the next few weeks but of course, let’s look at our data) these coming days,” said OCTA Research Group fellow Dr. Butch Ong in a televised public briefing.

Ong said the risk of Covid-19 transmission outdoors is lower but preventive measures must be strengthened if the face mask mandate will be eased.

“For example, kapag tayo ay may karamdaman o may sintomas, huwag na tayong lumabas at iyong sa ating mga vaccination ay kapag hindi pa nabakunahan please do consider vaccination pa rin ‘no (if we have illness or symptoms, do not go out, those who are unvaccinated, please do consider vaccination),” he said.

The DOH said IATF-EID Resolution Number 1 series of 2022 on the optional use of face mask is only recommendatory and not yet a policy. (PNA)