Duterte says sorry for continuous mandatory use of face shields
President Rodrigo Duterte apologized on Monday for his administration's apparent flip-flopping on the policy about wearing of face shields as he directed their continuous use indoors and outdoors amid the threat of coronavirus disease Delta variant, which is more transmissible compared to other variants.
In his "Talk to the People," Duterte said he would abide by the proposal of the health experts on the need to maintain the mandatory wearing of face shields, which is an added protection against COVID-19.
"I apologize to the Filipino people. This thing (of wearing face shields) was being discussed openly. Many thought we will do away with (face shields)," he said.
He said when he talked recently to some members of Congress that wearing face shields was necessary only in the hospitals, "I never said with finality that we will do away with face shield."
Duterte said he agreed with the recommendation of the Department of Health's Technical Advisory Group to continue to wear the face shields not only inside the establishments or public transport, but outside also.
"I will agree with you considering that this variant is very aggressive and it can proliferate in so much short period of time. We may experience a second wave, much more serious than the first," he said.
Duterte said the government cannot afford a second wave as its resources have been depleted.
"Another one (wave) will be disastrous. The stricter it (health protocol) is, the better," he said.
During the Talk to the People, Duterte allowed some of the health experts to discuss the current COVID-19 pandemic situation in the country.
Edsel Salvana, an infectious disease specialist and member of DOH TAG, said that the Delta variant, which was first detected in India, could increase transmission by 60 percent.
He said that if COVID-19 variant from Wuhan, China could infect two individuals, in the case of Delta variant, the infection is up to eight people.
"(It's) more contagious than Wuhan," Salvana said.
The DOH earlier said that there were 17 COVID-19 cases of Delta variant in the country already but there was no community transmission yet. Celerina Monte/DMS