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FDA discourages use of masks with valves


The Philippine Food and Drug Administration is discouraging the use masks with exhalation valves as the protection it provides is only "one-way" or only for the wearer.

"Ang totoo po kasi karamihan ng mga maskara na may valve hindi po 'yan naka-register for medical purposes. Hindi sila mga medical and/or surgical mask, kundi ay mga industrial mask ginagamit ng mga karpintero, mga naga-grinding so ang talagang intensyon niyan ay hindi makapasok 'yung alikabaok sa ihihinga ng tao,"

FDA Director General and Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said in an interview on Dobol sa News TV on Saturday.

"Pero wala siyang proteksyon... halimbawa kung ikaw ay may sakit at suot-suot mo [may valve] maaring lumabas po 'yung hininga niyo doon sa valve. Kung talagang infection control po talaga ay hindi po para doon," Domingo said.

Also, he noted that cloth masks are much better than masks with valves in terms of providing "two-way" protection, meaning the wearer and the people nearby are both protected.

"Dapat [fully covered ang] ilong tsaka bibig, dapat walang butas kasi kung may valve siya kung ikaw ang may suot non mapo-protektahan ka nga pero ang ibang tao eh, kung ikaw ang may sakit, ang ibang tao ang mahahawa sa inyo," Domingo said.

"Ang proteksyon niya one-way pero ang gusto natin ang proteksyon ng mask ay two-way. Kung tayo ay walang sakit hindi tayo mahahawa, kung tayo ay may sakit hindi tayo manghahawa," he added.

"Mas safe pa 'yung regular mask na walang valve. Mas acceptable pa po 'yon sa pang araw-araw na gamit," he said.

Domingo said the FDA has already advised hospitals to prohibit entry of people wearing masks with valves as well as those who are not wearing their masks properly.

The FDA, he said, is also looking at issuing an advisory to other establishments such as malls and restaurants about the risks of wearing masks with valves. —LBG, GMA News

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