Face shields are an additional requirement that provides additional protection for workers and commuters.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles stressed this in a Facebook Live session on Saturday night where he took time to explain how and why the government decided to make face shields mandatory for individuals in the workplace and those who take public transportation.

“With a face mask and a face shield, we are safer in public transportation, safer in workplaces.”

According to Nograles, co-chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), the decision to make face shields mandatory was a result of consultations with doctors and scientists.

“Pinakita sa amin ng doctors, scientists, and epidemiologists yung importance ng face shield. Sabi po nila kung gusto talaga natin ng 99% na proteksyon, importante talaga na isabay ang face shield sa face mask at social distancing,” said the Palace official.

Nograles said that one reality is that the masks normally used by the public do not offer as much protection as N95 masks, which are usually reserved for healthcare workers.

“Usually ang sinusuot ng ating mga kababayan ay cloth mask o surgical mask. Lower ang protection level,” said the former legislator.

The Cabinet official said that scientists showed the IATF that non-N95 masks, when paired with a face shield, would offer wearers far more protection than wearing the masks alone.

Scientists stressed that in open air situations and with social distancing, a face shield will not be necessary.

According to Nograles, scientists stressed that in open-air situations and with social distancing, a face shield will not be necessary. However, in a closed setting that does not allow for social distancing, face shields paired with face masks would offer additional protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Based on this input, Nograles said that the IATF agreed with the Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to make face shields mandatory in public transportation for the protection of drivers and passengers. The same input prompted the Department of Labor to adopt a similar policy for employees in the workplace.

“With a face mask and a face shield, mas safe tayo sa public transportation, mas safe tayo sa workplaces,” emphasized the Davao native.

Health experts have stated that the combination of face masks, face shields, and social distancing could reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 by 99%.


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