Plot twist? DOH doesn’t recommend that everyone wear face shields all the time

Philippines coronavirus AP Image
Image: AP

Following the task force’s pronouncement in December that all people must now wear face shields at all times when outside of their homes, the Department of Health (DOH) has made public their recommendation that some groups be exempted from the rule.

According to DOH Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire, those with underlying health issues who could find the additional layer of the face shield as troublesome to their breathing may be included in the exemption. She also added that face shields might pose risk to certain professions whose vision is hampered or distorted by face shields.

Hindi po natin nirerekomenda na gagamitin ang face shield kung ang isang tao ay mayroong specific na karamdaman na magkakaroon siya ng limitasyon sa paghinga. Hindi rin natin siya nirerekomenda doon sa mga trabahong medyo magiging dangerous siya. Baka magreflect doon sa face shield, magkaroon siya ng pagkalabo sa sight niya.” Vergeire suggested, according to a report by CNN Philippines.

Just three days apart, IATF’s mandatory rule and DOH’s recommendation appear to be dissonant. This begs the question: don’t these guys have group chats?

Prior to DOH’s recommendation, some citizens have already voiced their concern over the sweeping regulation. To some, the rule seems to have failed in recognizing particular day-to-day activities, including something as simple as wearing glasses underneath the face shield. 

While more and more local governments are implementing the rule in a more nuanced manner such as Pasig City, and more recently, Valenzuela and Iloilo City, the task force has yet to rescind it themselves.

As it appears, the public is asking less lenience than prudence: if you aren’t providing these tools for free, at least arrive at a sound decision first before trickling down orders. Sure, we can continue to comply, but as long as these moments of disagreement happen, then how long until our caution — not to mention our resources — wear too thin? 

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