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Are you wearing your face masks the proper way?

As demand for face masks spiked amid the threat from the novel coronavirus, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Friday demonstrated how to properly wear one.

"The blue one is on the outside. It's supposed to be the water-repellant side. The white is the absorbent [side] so when you sneeze, it gets absorbed there," Duque said in an interview on ANC television.

"Press the metal to anchor on the bridge of the nose to limit the air from the surroundings to come in," he added.

Duque also emphasized that surgical face masks were disposable and should only be used for eight to 10 hours. Otherwise, these may serve as sources of bacteria due to prolonged exposure.

The novel coronavirus may be transmitted through droplets, according to the Health Secretary.

Stores and pharmacies in Manila ran out of face masks a day after the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the first case of the novel coronavirus in the country.

A World Health Organization (WHO) consultant, however, said that healthy individuals did not need to wear face masks to avoid contracting the novel coronavirus.

"Instead, avoid crowds. Maintain a distance of at least one meter from anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Wash your hands often, or use an alcohol-based hand rub if the hands do not look dirty," WHO consultant for Health Systems Strengthening Dr. Albert Domingo said. — Dona Magsino/DVM, GMA News