DOH: Double masking unnecessary with face shields, physical distancing

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 27) — Health officials in the country will not yet recommend wearing two face masks for additional protection against COVID-19 and emerging variants that are more contagious.

Health spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire on Wednesday said the current requirement of wearing a face mask and face shield in public should offer enough protection against the coronavirus. Foreign health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci have recommended using two face masks for extra defense, but Vergeire said more evidence is needed before Philippine officials make the same recommendation.

She added the country's current protocols have prevented coronavirus infections in the country from soaring.

"I think yung isang mask na suot natin plus the face shield is enough for us to get protected... I think ang isang mask, which guarantees us 60-70% plus the face shield plus physical distance, which will give you about 99% protection, is enough for now," she said.

[Translation: Masks and face shields are enough for us to get protected. Masks guarantee 60-70% protection. Add the face shields and physical distancing, these will give about 99% protection. That's enough for now.]

Fauci, a top infectious disease expert and US President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, said double masking or wearing fabric masks over surgical ones is likely more effective to stop the spread of COVID-19 — adding it "makes common sense." Even Biden was seen wearing two masks on numerous occasions.

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