An official of the Department of Health (DOH) in the region said face masks alone could not guaranty protection from the deadly novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Dr. Joshua Brillantes, DOH assistant regional director, said Tuesday that the primary preventive measure against the 2019-nCoV is personal hygiene and sanitation with regular hand washing, covering cough and sneeze, healthy lifestyle and avoiding crowded places.
Brillantes said the DOH is advocating the proper use and when to use the face masks, as people resort to panic buying resulting in a shortage of masks nationwide.
Brillantes said there are two types of masks--the surgical mask and the n95 respirator mask. He said the surgical mask should be worn by sick persons, those taking care of the sick or if in an enclosed and crowded area, while the N95 respirator mask, is used by health workers when they conduct an invasive examination of confirmed cases.
He said that the masks are good only for single-use and should be disposed of afterward, although the N95 mask can be reused as long as it maintains its structural and functional integrity and the filter material is not physically damaged or soiled.
Advised to use masks are those who have respiratory symptoms like cough, difficulty in breathing; those who are providing care to individuals with respiratory symptoms and health workers and attending to individuals with respiratory symptoms.
Brillantes said that masks are not needed for anyone who does not have respiratory symptoms.
Meanwhile, the Local Price Monitoring Council (LPMC) has warned drugstores and other business establishments to refrain from hoarding face masks or selling it at exorbitant prices.
Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, who chairs the LPMC, said she was aware of the scarcity of face masks but could not discount the possibility of hoarding.
Salazar has called on the Department of Trade and Industry to deploy personnel and monitor the sales of rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizers, which are also fast depleting.
Source: Philippines News Agency