No lifting of mask mandate yet: Duque

MANILA – The mask mandate remains even when coronavirus cases continue to drop, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Thursday.

In a televised public briefing, Duque cited as example European nations Austria, Denmark, France and Germany now experiencing a spike in coronavirus infections after dropping their mask mandates.

“Matuto tayo sa iba’t ibang karanasan ng mga bansa sa Europa na kung saan tinanggal nila ang mask mandates, naglipana na naman ang mga kaso (Let’s learn from the experience of other countries in Europe. They removed the mask mandates and they saw an increase in cases),” he said.

Duque assured the public that the country’s experts are studying the possible removal of face mask mandate and downgrading to a lower alert status of Covid-19 risk classification.

“Eh, gusto ba natin matulad sa kanila? Ayaw natin, so, dahan dahan tayo (Do we want to be like them? We don’t want that, let’s slow down) let us be prudent and let us be guided by data and science through our expert panel,” he said.

On Wednesday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said further easing movement restrictions would be discussed once the entire country is placed under Alert Level 1.

“Sa ngayon masyadong premature, masyado pang maaga, so, Alert Level 1 muna tayo, malamang hanggang sa katapusan ng termino ng ating Pangulong Duterte (At the moment, it’s premature, so, we’ll be under Alert Level 1, maybe until the end of President Duterte’s term,” Duque said. (PNA) 


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