President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday emphasized the importance of wearing face masks to arrest the further spread of COVID-19, but he also gave some "hacks" on how to preserve one.
In a meeting with Cabinet officials that was aired on Tuesday morning, Duterte said he would try his best to provide face masks for those who cannot afford them.
"Masks ito importante talaga. Ngayon, kung wala kayo I will try to buy as many as I can afford kung kaya ko, ibigay namin 'yan sa inyo libre but wear it," Duterte said.
"Maski na gamitin mo 'yan dalawang beses okay man, i-sprayan mo nalang ng alcohol... Pagkatapos ng araw, hang it somewhere i-sprayan mo ng Lysol if you can afford it. 'Yung wala, ibabad mo ng gasolina o diesel. Pu***g i** COVID-19 na 'yan, di uubra 'yan diyan," he added.
Health experts have previously warned that improper disposal of used face masks could put someone at risk of infection.
Nonetheless, the Department of Health recommended the use of improvised masks, like those made of cloth, for those outside health care facilities.
“Kung wala pong magagamit na malinis na tubig at sabon, inirerekomenda po ng DOH at FDA na gumamit po ng alcohol or alcohol-based hand sanitizer,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing later on Tuesday.
“Ang mga alcohol po dapat ay naglalaman ng 70 percent ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol samantalang ang alcohol-based sanitizers ay dapat po naglalaman ng 60 percent ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol,” she added.
During the same briefing, Duterte called on the police to arrest those who are not wearing face masks.
"'I have no qualms in arresting people who are not wearing [face] mask. It seems to be trivial, but during a time of pandemic, it can be a serious crime. You are transmitting virus, you are a carrier," he said.
"You have to ask our police to be more strict. Hulihin talaga. If you are brought to a police station and detained there, that will give you a lesson for all time," he added.
A survey conducted by a London-based group of data analysts showed that 91% of Filipinos always wear masks whenever they go out. — RSJ/LDF, GMA News