Palace spokesman Harry Roque on Friday urged Filipinos to wear face shields to complement the wearing of face masks in public to further minimize the spread of Covid-19.

While there was no directive yet by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Diseases to integrate the wearing of face shields into the required public minimum health standards, Roque said some studies have shown that its use further reduces virus transmission. 

“Studies have shown that wearing of face shields, in addition to wearing of masks and physical distancing, would further reduce virus transmission in low ventilation settings,” Roque, also spokesman of the IATF, said in a statement.

In his statement, Roque said the IATF had entered initial discussions on the use of face shields to complement wearing of face masks in public, particularly in low ventilation settings, such as public transportation.

Wearing face shields provides cover for the eyes and makes it less likely for a person to touch his or her face.

Existing minimum public health standards include wearing of masks, washing of hands and physical distancing.

The IATF, in its omnibus guidelines, defines minimum public health standards as “public health measures that do not involve vaccines, medications, or other pharmaceutical interventions, which individuals and communities can carry out in order to reduce transmission rates, contact rates, and the duration of infectiousness of individuals in the population to mitigate Covid-19.”

Roque, during President Rodrigo Duterte’s recorded broadcast on Friday, called for the use of face shields in areas with high volumes of Covid-19 infections.

US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci told ABC News that the wearing of face shields is “not universally recommended, but if you really want to be complete, you should probably use it if you can.” John Ezekiel J. Hirro