As they share closed spaces, families should also wear masks at home, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Monday, August 10.
“Ang importante din ‘yung mga LGUs natin na kasama sa bahay, dapat maprotektahan sila. Dapat talaga magsuot sila ng mask, ‘yung mahihirap at kung pupuwede, lahat talaga mag-stay at home,” Año said in an interview with GMA News’ Unang Balita.
(What’s important is that LGUs are also part of preventing the virus’ spread at home, that everyone should be protected. They should really wear masks, the poor if possible, and all should stay at home.)
Wearing face masks has been proven to reduce the transmission of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but so far, government has been requiring its use only outdoors.
Following Año’s statement, the Department of Health told reporters in a viber message that people should use face masks at home if their household satisfies these 2 conditions:
- There is a symptomatic patient living with them
- If a family member is part of the “vulnerable population”, which includes senior citizens, persons who are immunocompromised, and pregnant women
Earlier, COVID-19 plan chief implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr said that hospitals have reported a rising trend of entire families getting infected of the coronavirus.
It is unclear if Año’s call will be translated into policy, as he plays a key role in both the inter-agency task force that crafts quarantine guidelines and the national task force that enforces them.
Año’s call came after the Philippines recorded over 129,000 coronavirus cases as of Sunday, August 9, becoming the ASEAN country with the most virus cases.
Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces are on modified lockdown, hoping to slow down the spread of the virus. Government, however, seeks to lift it by August 18 to restart economic activity after a record 16.5% drop in gross domestic product for the 2nd quarter of 2020. – with reports from Bonz Magsambol/ Rappler.com