The provincial government of Cebu announced on Monday, August 16, that the implementation of its air purifier policy would be moved to August 25 to give public utility vehicle operators more time to buy their own air purifiers.
Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia signed a memorandum on Friday, August 13, requiring all public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and conductors to have their own personal air purifiers starting August 16.
The Cebu provincial government announced the postponement Monday during a report on SugboNews, the official news site of the Cebu public information office.
Garcia also said in a press briefing Tuesday, August 17: “We have moved the deadline for the wearing of personal air purifiers for all our drivers and conductors to August 25th.”
Since the release of the memorandum many government officials have warned about the policy and have recommended against the use of ionizing air purifiers to stem COVID-19.
“That was as early as the pandemic started that the DOH did not recommend these air purifiers,” Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Rosette Singh-Vergeire said in a live press conference.
“Eto po mga necklace purifiers sinabi na ho natin dati yan na wala ho yang ebidensya bagamat hindi po ito nakakacause ng harm sa isang tao pero hindi rin ito nakakabigay ng proteksyon laban sa COVID-19,” she added. (There is no evidence showing that necklace purifiers are good in against COVID-19. However, though it does not harm to people, but still it does not give protection against COVID-19.
Verigeire said it would only give operators a “false sense of security” and might cause complacency in keeping themselves protected from the virus.
Still, the provincial government claimed that it was “additional protection” against the virus and posted this unscientific claim through the government social media news outlet SugboNews on Tuesday, August 17.
Meanwhile, the Institute of Clinical Epidemiology, which Verigeire quoted in the press conference, published a recommendation in the Philippine COVID-19 Clinical Practice Guidelines. It said: “We recommend against the use of ionizing air purifiers to reduce COVID-19 transmission in the community.”
As of this writing, the Cebu provincial government stood firm in its decision to implement the air purifier policy in the entire province. – Rappler.com