The lifting of the use of face masks outdoors may be among the factors for the increasing cases of Covid-19 in the Philippines, Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said. 

Vergeire said during a press briefing that the increase of Covid-19 infections was expected since the lifting of the face masks usage mandate. 

She added that there were additional factors for the increasing number of infections, such as increased mobility of the people, the resumption of face-to-face classes, and the reopening of other sectors in the country.

“Lagi po nating tatandaan, meron po tayong iba’t ibang components kung bakit nagkakasakit ang isang tao. Andiyan na ang lihetimo o inherent characteristic ng isang tao. Maaaring mas nakakatanda siya, maaaring may comorbidity siya, maaaring immunocompromised siya, maaaring bata siya, o maaaring labas din siya nang labas,” Vergeire said.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. signed the executive order last September 12 allowing the optional usage of face masks in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation. 

“We just want to clarify na nu’ng pinautupad natin itong optional use of mask outdoors, expectedly, maaaring tumaas talaga ang kaso. Pero ang importante sa atin is that we can protect our vulnerable,” Vergeire said. 

“Expectedly, cases are increasing because of the increased mobility, because of face-to-face classes, and maybe because pumapasok na itong factor ng optional outdoor masking,” she added.


— Ronald Espartinez