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Gov't orders mandatory use of face shields, face masks in public areas

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People are now required to wear face masks and face shields whenever they go out of their residences as the government aims to slow the spread of COVID-19 this holiday season.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made the announcement on Tuesday a day after the meeting of the policy-making Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

Previously, the government only required the wearing of face shields inside establishments.

“It’s an additional protection para maiwasan ang surge [in COVID-19 cases this holiday season]. Lahat naman po ‘to hindi ire-require kung hindi po makakabuti sa ating kalusugan,” Roque said at a news conference.

“Whether it be for the holiday or for [a] longer period of time, meron na tayong face shield, gamitin na lang for added protection.”

The Philippines has so far reported 450,733 COVID-19 cases with 8,757 deaths, but the OCTA Research group said the number of infections could hit close to half a million by the end of the year.

The OCTA Research urged the national and local governments to work together to limit the spread of the virus by increasing testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine, and the implementation of small, targeted lockdowns to contain “super-spreading events” in the communities.

They also appealed to the public to avoid not just crowded and enclosed areas but also to refrain from joining or organizing social gatherings this Christmas season. --KBK, GMA News

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