MANILA – While he urged Filipinos to continue adhering to minimum public health protocols, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said he is not keen on ditching the requirement of wearing face masks until his term ends.
“I just state my cases, there’s no way that mask will not be required. It will be part of the protocol for a long time until my last day in the office. Iyan ang order ko at iyan ang sundin niyo (That’s my order, you should follow it),” Duterte said in his prerecorded Talk to the People aired Monday night.
Duterte cited the need to continue wearing face masks accompanied by regular hand washing and strict physical distancing.
“We are not out of the woods actually, we are still in a bind,” he said.
Despite a decline in the number of new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases and hospitalizations in the country, Duterte reiterated the need for the unvaccinated to avail of jabs “to protect the body.”
Duterte cited the need to wear face masks as it reduces the chance of spreading the disease amid the election-related and religious activities that entail the crowding of people.
“We have so many crowds lately – religious and political (And you can see people are very close to each other),” Duterte said, adding that health authorities have cautioned about the possible worse impact of these physical mass gatherings.
In her report to Duterte, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said other countries experienced Covid-19 surge after lifting mandated wearing of face masks. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency