The condition of the infamous 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in the country is not getting better; more and more of our countrymen are being infected and the number of deaths due to the virus is soaring – it’s soaring high.
With this, the Philippine government decided to mandate the wearing of face mask in public areas in the entire island of Luzon. When residents leave their homes, they’ll be required to put on or have a face mask of some sort to cover their nose and their mouths.
This announcement was brought about by Karlo Nograles, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Spokesperson back on Thursday. According to Nograles, everyone who is part of the island-wide enhanced quarantine are required to wear face masks.
Kung kailangan po nating lumabas ng bahay, kailangan po mag-mask. Kahit improvised ito o panyo, basta po may pangtakip tayo ng bibig at ilong.”
In Translation: If you need to go out of your houses, you are required to wear face masks. Even if it’s improvised, if it’s from a handkerchief, as long as it covers your mouth and nose, it’s going to be acceptable.
Improvised Face Masks Allowed
Nograles mentioned that even face masks that are improvised would be allowed. Even if it’s a simple variation of a handkerchief mask, improvised cloth or shirt. The goal is to cover the mouth and the nose from exposure to the air.
In addition to that Nograles said that this strict order is going to last until the end of the Luzon quarantine which is on the 13th of April. Many comments about this, however, saying that the quarantine will be “far from over” because there’s no sign of the virus stopping.
Before the quarantine, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised and recommended that a face mask is only for people who are ill. Given the statement by Nograles, the WHO said that they’re still up with their recommendation that face masks are only for people who are sick.
Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO Health Emergencies Program Executive Director, said that there’s no evidence pointing to the fact that wearing face masks improved the COVID-19 situation. In addition, he said that it even suggested the opposite.
There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit. In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly.”
So technically, what the WHO is saying is that wearing face masks wouldn’t really “save” us from getting infected. So what good does the new rule in public places would be?
Addressing the shortage of masks globally
In addition to Dr. Ryan’s statement, he also said that the world is experiencing a shortage in masks. Therefore, these types of personal protective equipment (PPE) should be given to those who are at risk – medical and health workers; the frontliners.
There also is the issue that we have a massive global shortage. Right now the people most at risk from this virus are frontline health workers who are exposed to the virus every second of every day. The thought of them not having masks is horrific.”
The fact that everyone who is out are all required to wear face masks is a sign that the virus is not anywhere near defeat. In fact, many lawmakers and Scientists in the country consider this as a sign that we’re just in the beginning.
The COVID-19, as most of us must know is spread through the small droplets that come out of the nose and the mouths of the people who are infected (either through coughing and sneezing). When inhaled by another person, they’ll be infected, too.
With the WHO condemning the fact that everyone should be required to wear face masks; and our own health agencies saying the opposite, what do you think would be the best thing to do? Which recommendation would most people take?
The Coronavirus is not a joke; it has taken more than 90 lives and we now have recorded a total number of infected people at 2,311. It is not a joke; in fact, it should be taken more seriously by people.
A wide number of people in some places in the island of Luzon are still living like there’s no pandemic eating up the entire globe. In these dire times of crisis, listening to the government and what their plans are could actually be what could save us all.