Covid-19: Philippines mulls making face masks optional outdoors

One city has started a trial of a relaxed mask-wearing policy

Reuters photo
Reuters photo

By Web Desk

Published: Tue 6 Sep 2022, 6:19 PM

The Philippine government is expected to come up with a decision about mask-wearing requirements this week, local media reported.

This comes after Cebu City started a trial of an eased policy — which makes wearing of face masks optional outdoors.

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said he had already forwarded the concern to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), according to a CNN report.

"Probably by the end of the week, we'll come out with this decision (on what steps will be taken)," Abalos said in the report.

He added that some were pointing out that the Philippines and Myanmar are now the only Asean countries with a mask mandate.

“Of course, there are those mentioning things like vaccination, booster shots, and other factors. So we have to weigh everything as that is what we are discussing,” Abalos added.

The daily average of Covid cases in the Philippines dropped 10 per cent last week. From recording 2,752 per day recorded from August 22 to 28, the number decreased to 2,449 daily, according to the Philippine Information Agency.

The latest case bulletin showed there were 17,145 new cases and 354 verified deaths.

To date, about 92.98 percent of the country’s target population (78,100,578) are vaccinated against Covid-19, including 78.14 per cent of senior citizens.

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