DOH: Face shields not advisable for everyone

DOH: Face shields not advisable for everyone
A jeepney passenger wears a face shield over a surgical mask in Ba- guio City on Aug. 5, 2020.
The STAR / Andy Zapata Jr.

MANILA, Philippines — Wearing face shields on top of masks is not recommended for individuals with certain health conditions, the Department of Health said Friday.

“Hindi po natin nirerekomenda na gagamitin ang face shield kung ang isang tao ay may specific na karamdaman na magkakaroon siya ng limitasyon sa paghinga kung sakali,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing Friday.

(We do not recommend the use of face shield if a person has a specific condition that could lead to breathing limitations.)

The use of face shield is also not advisable if it would lead to visibility problems, she added.

“Hindi rin nirerekomenda sa mga trabahong magiging dangerous. Baka mag-reflect sa face shield, magkaroon ng pagkalabo sa sight,” Vergeire said.

(We also do not recommend it for some workers who may be put at risk. The reflection from face shield may affect the eyesight.)


The government’s task force on coronavirus response is now requiring people to wear full-coverage face shields on top of their masks whenever they go outside as the country anticipates a spike in COVID-19 cases due to increased mobility during the holiday season.

Wearing plastic shields was previously only required inside enclosed spaces such as malls and public transportation.

Several countries that have managed to have their outbreaks under control did not require the use of face shields. The virus is transmitted through droplets that can be inhaled from an infected person’s cough or sneeze or picked up with one touch. 

A study published in the journal Physics of Fluids found that although face shields block the initial forward motion of cough or sneeze, the expelled droplets can move around the visor “with relative ease and spread out over a large area.”

“Our observations suggest that to minimize the community spread of COVID-19, it may be preferable to use high quality cloth or surgical masks that are of a plain design, instead of face shields and masks equipped with exhale valves,” the study of scientists from Florida Atlantic University read.

But the DOH stressed the plastic shields would provide people an additional layer of protection against the virus.

“What we are recommending is for people to use face shields together with face masks and do physical distancing, especially when you’re in public places because this will give you protection that you need so we don’t get infected with the virus,” Vergeire said. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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