Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday advised the wearing of face masks even inside residences especially for families who encounter difficulty in practicing social distancing at home.
In an interview on GMA News' Unang Balita, Año said members of the household could also wear face shields to protect themselves from the transmission of COVID-19. He noted that the transmission of the virus is now per family.
"Isipin natin ngayon ang transmission ngayon ay buong pamilya na, pami-pamilya... rich or poor talagang buong pamilya... ang pinaka-importante diyan kung talagang di nila maiwasan, magsuot sila ng mask. Advisable din 'yung face shield diyan," Año said.
"Ang importante din 'yung mga LGUs natin na kasama sa bahay, dapat maprotektahan sila. Dapat talaga magsuot sila ng mask, 'yung mahihirap at kung pupuwede, lahat talaga magstay at home at kung may lalabas na isa, ito 'yung dapat iwasan, bigyan ng distansya, lalo na 'yung pumunta ng palengke o kaya galing sa trabaho, 'yan ang dapat magsuot ng mask at itry niya na magkaroon ng distansya," he explained.
This came after chief implementer of the government's COVID-19 response Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. bared that aside from workplaces, densely-populated areas could also be considered as critical areas as it is difficult to practice social distancing in these places.
Galvez had underscored that at present, COVID-19 contamination is per family.
"Based doon sa data na nakita natin sa hospitals, ang contamination ngayon is not only by individuals, ngayon by families na. Nakita natin 'yung vulnerability talaga sa workplace at saka 'yung vulnerability ng mga informal communities na talagang hindi nag-o-observe ng minimum health standards," Galvez said.
Meanwhile, Año further said the use of face shields is also encouraged, not only in public transport vehicles, but also in other public areas such as markets, hospitals and quarantine facilities.
"Ito ay ine-encourage at puwedeng i-require sa lugar na maraming tao, for example 'yung mass transport, mga establishments, mga isolation facilities, hospitals, sa mga palengke, sa mga work places, kung saan 'yung maraming tao at hindi mo mamaintain 'yung two-meter distance kasi dapat two-meter distance so makakatulong 'yung face shield," Año said.
"Pero ang mga LGU naman, may kapangyarihang magpatupad, kung puwede lang huwag bigyan ng penalty, di katulad noong sa minimum health standards..." he added.
So far, the Philippines has a total of 129,913 COVID-19 infections, with 67,673 recoveries and 2,270 deaths.
According to the Department of Health, the five provinces with the highest number of new cases were Metro Manila with 1,700, Laguna with 169, Cebu with 114, Rizal with 98, and Cavite with 93. — RSJ, GMA News