IT seems some government officials are singing different tunes nowadays when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the issue of wearing face shields.
Two government officials who are part of the national pandemic task force issued seemingly conflicting statements that were seen to confuse the public even more.
In a televised interview, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles insisted that wearing a face shield on top of a face mask is still required as the country continues its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Responding to Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega’s statement on Wednesday that face shields need not be worn on top of face masks when outdoors, Nograles said that the existing policy stays unless the Inter-Agency Task Force says otherwise.
“We will run this through the IATF meeting later,” Nograles said.
IATF is the government’s policy-making body in COVID-19 response efforts.
“Face shields are still required,” he added.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, who also serves as spokesperson for the IATF, maintained that wearing a face shield on top of a face mask increases protection against COVID-19.
Interestingly, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire underscored the urgent need to comply with Joint Memorandum Circular 2021-0001, which says “only states that face shields are required to be worn in enclosed public spaces, schools, workplaces, commercial establishments, public transport and terminals, and places of worship.”
However, the same memo provides that face shields must be worn in “other public spaces wherein 1 meter physical distancing is not possible and there is gathering of more than 10 people at the same venue at the same time.”