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With the threat of the new Omicon COVID-19 variant, the Philippine government is looking into possibly reimposing the face shield policy which was lifted in low-risk areas in November.
In a briefing on Sunday, National Task Force for COVID-19 Chief Carlito Galvez said the government is looking at the possibility of requiring face shields again. He noted that Health Secretary Francisco Duque favors the return of using any protection against the virus.
“Some people from WHO (World Health Organization) also believe na kaya nagkaroon tayo ng magandang result dito sa Delta, as compared to others, is because of also the added protection of face shields,” Galvez added.
Per the memorandum released by executive secretary Salvador Medialdea, beginning November 15, face shields are no longer mandatory in areas under alert levels 1 to 3. The protective equipment is only required to individuals living in areas under Alert Level 5, the strictest in the classification system, and those who are under granular lockdowns.
Meanwhile, WHO has classified the new coronavirus variant called B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern. The novel strain was first detected in South Africa and is said to have several mutations which affect its transmissibility.
The Omicron variant is not yet present in the Philippines. In an effort to curb its entry in the country, the government has imposed flight bans on several countries in the African and European region.