CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–Following the mandate of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on the use of face shields in addition to wearing of face masks while commuting effective August 15, the Department of Health (DOH)-10 cites advantages of wearing such in preventing the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID)-19.
During the NorMin COVID-19 Response Task Force press conference, August 7, DOH-10 Regional Director Dr. Adriano Suba-an said the face shields were primarily considered as an option for a certain population, who needs to see facial expressions such as learners and the persons with disability particularly the deaf and mute.
“Face shields should not be used as a substitute for face masks. It should be the combination use of both,” Suba-an added, citing that face shields are generally not used alone, but must be in conjunction with other protective equipment and are therefore classified as adjunctive personal protective equipment (PPE).
Based on studies, face shields are endlessly reusable and affordable, and they require simple cleaning with soap and water or common disinfectants.
Also, shields are usually more comfortable to wear, and they form a barrier that keeps people from easily touching their own faces, which is one of the ways to prevent COVID-19 infection.
Suba-an said when using a face mask and face shield, one should ensure that the eyes, nose and mouth are covered. There should be no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece.
The use of a face shield is also a reminder to maintain social distancing, but allows visibility of facial expressions and lip movements, the regional director added.
In a Memorandum Circular released August 4, the DOTr, through its Administrative Service, has ordered all officials and heads of its various transportation sectors to enjoin, within their respective jurisdictions, the mandatory wearing of face shields for all passengers in areas where public transportation is allowed. The initiative aims to further reduce the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 in public transport facilities as health authorities have pointed out that the use of face shields and masks reduces exposure to and emission of respiratory droplets considerably. (RTP/PIA10)