RITM: ‘Reserve’ face masks to those who really need it

Aileen Cerrudo

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) is not recommending the general public to wear face masks, saying it should be “reserved for those who really need it”.

In a press conference in Malacañang on Monday (February 3), RITM Director Celia Carlos said the wearing of face masks is recommended for health workers and people with respiratory illness.

“There is now a current shortage of this valuable commodity and let us give them to those who need them most, especially the health workers,” she said.

“Currently, since there is no community transmission of the novel coronavirus in the Philippines, we are not recommending its use for the general public who do not have respiratory symptoms,” she added.

Instead, the health official advised the public to practice proper hygiene by regularly washing their hands. She also advised people to avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands or unwashed hands.

“We need to observe good hand hygiene and we need to eat and drink from safe, clean and reliable sources,” she said.—AAC

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