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ANGKAS: No Face Masks for Now

By JESSICA PAG-IWAYAN

Since the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) scare started, Filipinos flocked to drug stores, supermarkets, and even hardware stores to buy boxes of face masks. The supply shortage of face masks has pushed motorcycle taxi company Angkas to announce that, for the meantime, they might be able to give all of their passengers a mask.

“No face masks for now,” Angkas says on a Facebook post. “Due to country-wide shortage, our face masks might not always be available.”

Even before nCoV, the said company has already been providing face masks and hairnets to all of their passengers. “The government is prioritizing mask distribution for healthcare workers at the moment. We urge you to bring your own for now,” Angkas says.

On Jan. 29, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a statement about using face mask as a protection against nCoV. According to WHO, wearing medical mask is one way to protect yourself against respiratory diseases, but this alone is not enough.

“If masks are to be used, this measure must be combined with hand hygiene and other IPC measures to prevent human-to-human transmission of 2019-nCoV,” WHO says. “Wearing medical masks when not indicated may cause unnecessary cost, procurement burden, and create a false sense of security that can lead to neglecting other essential measures.”

 



Source: Manila Bulletin

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