The Department of Health (DOH) said that instead of cloth masks, surgical face masks are more recommended to use in locations with a huge spike of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections. 

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that surgical masks must be used in “high-risk settings” or places with reported spikes of new infections. 

However, she said that local experts, part of the country’s Living Clinical Practice Guidelines reviewers, are currently analyzing the WHO’s recommendation. 

“Sa ngayon, ang ating rekomendasyon, kung kaya niyo na mag-surgical mask, especially in those areas na matataas po ang kaso, let’s use surgical mask,” Vergeire said during an online forum.

Vergeire added that medical-grade masks, such as surgical masks, provide stronger protection against bacteria and viruses since those are made to filter organisms found in the air. 

“Pero kung hindi naman po kakayanin ng komunidad [ang surgical mask], cloth mask can still give protection. Hindi po natin tinatanggal ‘yan sa equation,” Vergeire assured.

Currently, the Philippines is facing a sudden surge in Covid-19 infections with the local transmission of the deadly Delta variant. Ronald Espartinez