Press Release
June 13, 2021

Reconsider decision on face shields

Despite the recent pronouncement of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases and Department of Health (DOH) shutting-down calls from Local Government officials to stop requiring the use of face shields by the public, Senator Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. has renewed the call for them to reconsider.

According to the lawmaker, many in the medical field question the use of face shields, even citing the absence of solid medical proof that its use is effective against community transmission of COVID-19. "In fact, marami tayong nakakausap na doktor na nagdududang mas nakakasama pa ito dahil maaaring nakaka-obstruct pa ang face shields sa ventilation," he said.

"And aside from these considerations, our cash-strapped kababayans are forced to shell-out much needed money for face shields which they could otherwise spend on necessities like food," Bong Revilla added.

The solon also expressed that the public should instead continue to practice proven minimum health standards - proper wearing of face masks; social distancing; and washing of hands and proper hygiene - which has been concluded to be the most effective means of preventing COVID-19 infection.

"Ang recommended minimum health standards na rekomendado ng World Health Organization (WHO) na kapwa ipinatutupad sa buong mundo - wala diyan ang paggamit ng face shields," the senator stressed. "Tayo lang ang nagpapatupad niyan."

Revilla however, was quick to qualify that use of face shields may still be required for medical and in-facility frontliners who are expected to come into contact with COVID-positive patients. "The DOH mentions a study in India which showed a 100% effectivity of face shields in preventing COVID-19 transmission to community health workers," he cited, referring to a study by Bhaskar and Arun (2020) among community health workers in India, suggesting that, after the introduction of face shields to 50 of the health workers who counseled 118,428 persons in May 2020, none of the healthcare workers were infected with COVID-19.

"Okay yan sa ating mga doctors, nurses, hospital workers and crematorium workers, pero para sa publiko, baka hindi na kailangan," Revilla clarified.

"Ito ang mga dahilan ng ating muling panawagan. We appreciate the efforts of the IATF and DOH to protect the public and beat this pandemic. All we are asking for is a little consideration sa ating mga kababayan," he ended.

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