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Wearing of face masks now mandatory

The national government has adopted the policy requiring those going outside to wear face masks, handkerchiefs, or other protective equipment to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus disease-2019 in the country.

In a virtual presser, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the wearing of protective equipment is now required in places under the enhanced community quarantine.

These include face masks; earloop masks; indigenous, reusable or do-it-yourself masks; face shields; handkerchiefs; or such other protective equipment that can effectively lessen the transmission of COVID-19.

“Kung kailangan po nating lumabas ng bahay, kailangan po mag-mask,” Nograles said. “Kahit improvised ito o panyo, basta po may pangtakip tayo ng bibig at ilong,” he added.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, meanwhile, enjoined concerned local government units to issue the necessary executive order or ordinance to that effect, and impose such penalties as may be appropriate.

The IATF had earlier appealed to local manufacturers not to export their locally made personal protective equipment and allow the government to buy them instead.

According to Nograles, the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Textile Research Institute was spearheading the production of 500,000 re-useable, washable, and re-wearable facial masks as protective face wear.

“Ang DoST naman po ay merong ginagawang hakbang para makapag-manufacture din tayo, mas dadamihan po natin ang local manufacturing ng mga PPEs, gloves, mask, at iba pa,” Nograles said. (Argyll Geducos)