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DOH to public: MPHS, mask remain best guard vs covid

ILOILO CITY (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas reminds the public that the minimum public health standards (MPHS) plus vaccination remain the best protection against the spread of COVID-19.

During the coordination meeting of health partners and stakeholders on the management of Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases (EREIDS), Nov. 9, DOH 6 EREIDS Regional Program Manager Dr. Bea Camille Natalaray discussed the recent issuances relative to the implementation of MPHS, specifically on wearing of face mask.

On October 28 of this year, the office of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. issued Executive Order No. 7 allowing the voluntary wearing of face masks in indoor and outdoor settings and the continued implementation of MPHS as the country remains under a state of public health emergency.

The Order made the wearing of face masks voluntary except in healthcare facilities, medical transport vehicles, and public transportation by land, air, or sea.

Also, wearing of masks is still encouraged

among elderly, individuals with comorbidities, immunocompromised individuals, pregnant women, unvaccinated individuals, and symptomatic individuals.

Meanwhile, the Order also mandated the continued implementation of the MPHS “to effectively prevent and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the country.”

“The DOH is directed to continuously update the MPHS guidelines in accordance with this Order. The general public, in compliance with the MPHS, is hereby enjoined to exercise diligence in carrying out health protocols, such as the practice of good hygiene, frequent hand-washing, observance of physical distancing, and maintenance of good ventilation, especially in indoor settings,” the EO 7 stated.

With this, Natalaray reminded the public to consider others in exercising MPHS, particularly in the voluntary wearing of masks.

“We, at the Department of Health, although the IATF has already liberalized the wearing of face masks both indoors and outdoors, always remind us, just as what Usec. (Maria Rosario) Vergeire said, if we know that there are immunocompromised or high-risk individuals in our workplaces, it’s better to still wear them for their protection,” said Natalaray.

She also reminded local government units (LGUs) in the region to submit regular reports on their vaccination status to DOH as directed by the Order.

Areas that are currently at low risk classification, but at Alert Level 2 status because of failure to meet vaccination targets to warrant de-escalation, are highly encouraged to undertake efforts to further expand their vaccination and booster coverage.

According to Natalaray, for Western Visayas, these are the provinces of Antique and Negros Occidental. (JBG/FRG/PIA6)

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Franz Remar Garion

Region 6

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