No, Not Again: Interior Dep’t urges Pinoys to wear face masks at home

Photo: Noah Syed/Unsplash
Photo: Noah Syed/Unsplash

Here they go again.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) today urged Filipinos (again) to wear masks indoors because the coronavirus is spreading within families.

“The face of COVID has changed. It used to be something you get in the workplace. Now it’s spreading among family members because they have gone complacent. COVID fatigue has set in since we started our immunization program,” Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said today in a virtual briefing.

“The DILG supports that position. In fact, that’s the position of Secretary [Eduardo] Año from the very beginning,” Malaya said about the proposal to wear masks indoors.

Read: Stay home? As COVID-19 spreads within families, Pinoys told to wear masks indoors

It was in August 2020 when Año made the suggestion, adding that the virus could easily spread indoors because most Filipinos live in small homes. Año added that people should also wear face shields.

The Philippines is seeing a surge of COVID cases. The independent OCTA Research Group has predicted that about 8,000 daily new infections will be recorded in the next few days until the end of March, and 18,000 to 20,000 will be added each day in April if the reproduction rate does not go down. As of today, the Philippines has a reproduction number of 1.9 to 2, meaning that one infected person passes the coronavirus to at least two people.

The Duterte government has started its vaccination program early this month, the last in the region to do so.  Malacañang Palace has borrowed millions of dollars to fund its vaccination program but only donated vials of Sinovac and AstraZeneca have arrived in the country.


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