MANILA, Philippines — It is now mandatory for individuals leaving their residences to purchase basic goods or attend to emergencies to wear any type of face mask while the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine is in effect due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, spokesman of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said in a virtual press briefing that face masks, earloop masks, indigenous, reusable or do-it-yourself masks, face shields, and handkerchiefs will be allowed to help prevent the further spread of the respiratory disease.
“Sa mga lugar kung saan ipinapatupad ang ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), lahat po ng mga kababayan natin na lalabas sa kanilang tahanan para mamili ay required na po gumamit ng face mask, panyo, face shields o anumang kagamitan na makakatulong sa pagpigil ng pagkalat ng COVID-19 virus,” Nograles said.
(In areas where the ECQ is in effect, individuals leaving their residences to buy goods are required to wear any type of face mask to help slow down the spread of COVID-19.)
“Kahit improvised ito o panyo, basta po may pangtakip tayo ng bibig at ilong,” he added.
Local government units are mandated to issue necessary executive orders or ordinances on the mandatory wearing of face masks and impose such penalties as may be appropriate.
Half of the country’s population was ordered to stay home, mass gatherings were banned and public transportations were suspended after President Duterte placed the entire island of Luzon under an enhanced” community quarantine until midnight of April 13, 2020.
On Wednesday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 227 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases in the Philippines to 2,311.
The death toll rose to 96, although 50 other patients managed to recover from the viral respiratory illness.
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