“We are waiting for the official statement of WHO on this. For now, it proves that we really have to wear face masks when we are in public places,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing.
AFP/Charly Triballeau
COVID airborne? Keep your mask on, says Palace
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - July 10, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — While awaiting word from the World Health Organization (WHO) on reports of possible airborne transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it is still best for everyone to wear a mask in public places, Malacañang said yesterday.

“We are waiting for the official statement of WHO on this. For now, it proves that we really have to wear face masks when we are in public places,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing.

Around 239 scientists worldwide have said that the airborne transmission of the virus is possible and have called on health authorities to revise their prevention measures to contain its spread.

The WHO has acknowledged that there is “emerging evidence” of airborne spread of the virus, saying it is open to understanding the implications of the new findings.

Roque said the government is not downplaying the reports about the airborne transmission of the virus, which has infected about 12 million people worldwide, more than 50,000 of them in the Philippines.

“Whether or not it’s airborne, the wearing of a face mask is really a preventive measure. If they can prove that it’s airborne, we are right in asking everyone to wear face masks,” the Palace spokesman said.

At the same briefing, Roque said there should be no problem if one removes his face mask to drink. He noted that rules must be implemented “pursuant to human experience.”

“People need to drink. If we explain... that we removed our face masks to drink, there should be no problem,” Roque said, when asked to comment on an incident involving journalist Howie Severino, who was apprehended last Wednesday for lowering his mask to drink water. Severino, along with several others, was brought to the Amoranto Stadium to attend a seminar on the proper use of face mask.

Roque said Quezon City is really strict in enforcing protocols on face masks.

“But as I said, this can be settled by a clear explanation. I think the journalist saw the strict implementation (of the protocol) and it’s good that they held such a seminar for those who were apprehended. Let’s leave it at that,” he added.

Roque said there has been a proposal to pass ordinances imposing common sanctions on those found not wearing masks.

At the same briefing, Roque said there is no need to be alarmed by reports about the bubonic plague in China, noting that the borders of the Philippines remain closed.

“We are taking it seriously. But don’t worry because the wholesale entry of foreigners is not yet permitted. It is only allowed on a case-to-case basis,” he said.

“Our borders remain closed although requests can be made on an individual basis, if they have valid reasons to go to the Philippines.”

FACEMASK
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with