PSA: Makati Med releases types of face mask, face shield allowed within premises

January 5, 2021 - 5:58 PM
People wearing face masks and face shields as protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) queue at a bus stop, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, December 23, 2020. (Reuters/Lisa Marie David)

Makati Medical Center’s Infection Prevention & Control reminded Filipinos on the right types of face mask and face shield to wear within its premises.

In an advisory posted online on Tuesday, the MMC advised the public to wear a surgical mask and a clear face shield upon entry to the hospital as part of its health and safety protocols.

The advisory graphic also showed that masks or respirators with exhalation valves, vents, slits or holes, and tinted face shields are not allowed to be used inside the hospital.

“MakatiMed’s Infection Prevention & Control recommends the use of secure-fit face masks without valves, slits, or holes for the safety and wellness of its patients, guests, and healthcare workers while inside the hospital,” the advisory read.

“Tinted face shields are also not allowed for the security of everyone within its premises,” it added.

In April last year, the Department of Interior and Local Government issued Memorandum Circular No. 2020-071 ordering all provincial governors, city and municipal mayors, punong barangays, members of the Sanggunian, DILG regional directors and field Officers, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Minister of the Interior and Local Government, and all others concerned to implement mandatory wearing of face masks or other protective equipment in public areas to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Mid-August, the national government also required wearing of face shield, aside from the mandatory face mask, as “an added armor to minimize the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus” in work places, public transportation and commercial establishments such as malls.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases in December expanded this policy and required all citizens to wear face shield in public places to help prevent the surge of infections during the holidays amid the implementation of general community quarantine in high-risk areas such as Metro Manila.

The Department of Health and the IATF did not issue strict specifications for face shields.

In the guidelines provided by the DOH, a face shield should cover the entire face of the person, is resistant to fog and sweat, can easily be disinfected or cleaned, and is reusable.

Screenshot by Interaksyon from the Department of Health

It did not specify if tinted face shields are allowed to be worn.

The DOH and other local medical communities had previously warned Filipinos against wearing face masks with exhalation valves or vents.

While these valves help users breathe easily, the local medical community discouraged the public from using them as they are ineffective in preventing COVID-19 droplets from transmitting to other people, thus putting the health and safety of patients at risk.

READ: Local medical community cautions public against wearing face mask with exhalation valve

As of January 5, the health department reported 937 additional cases, bringing the total COVID-19 cases in the Philippines to 479,693.

Of these, there are 448,375 have recovered while the death toll stood at 9,321.