President Duterte asked a reporter to take off her face shield and face mask at a presscon.
On Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte asked a reporter to take off her face shield and face mask at a press conference at the LRT Line 2 Antipolo Station.
During the press conference at the LRT Line 2 Antipolo Station, President Duterte asked a reporter to take off her face shield and face mask despite national government’s repeated reminders that those coverings must be used in public areas in order to avoid the spread of coronavirus disease.
The reporter had just started to raise a question when President Duterte said, while gesturing around his mouth, “I cannot make out [what you are saying]–kasi may ano ka.“
“Tanggalin mo na lang ‘yan. Sabay na tayong magka-COVID,” he said, apparently in jest.
President Duterte’s interaction with the press happened after he led the inauguration of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 2 East Extension Project.
The next reporter that asked the President a question also had no face shield nor face mask on, presumably following the President’s instruction.
The national government had required face masks and face shields in public areas.
There’s no definite list of exceptions for the said rule. But Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque recently said that the public should use “common sense” on when they could ditch face shields, usually made of plastic.
Some said that the face shield requirement has no benefits, even as health experts said that it could provide added protection against the coronavirus disease.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that face shields may be “considered an alternative to masks” in some cases – including when some children might not be able to wear a face mask due to disabilities or specific situations such as speech classes wherein the teacher needed to see their mouths.
However, the WHO said that face shields “do not provide the equivalent protection in keeping the virus from being transmitted to others”.
President Duterte has repeatedly reminded the public to wear their face masks properly. There were some occasions, however, when he would remove his mask so that he could speak more clearly.
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