Photo by Viktor Hanacek through picjumbo

Slowly ditching the face mask requirement in open areas under Alert Level 1 status is possible if coronavirus cases continue to go down.

National Task Force Against Covid-19 special medical adviser, Dr. Ted Herbosa, said at the Laging Handa public briefing on Friday it may be considered as one of the adjustments under the so-called new normal.

“Ang susunod nito ay maaring ‘yung pagsuot ng mask sa outdoor areas, so sa indoor na lang tayo magma-mask lalo na kung bababa ang cases (The next step might be the removal of face mask requirement in outdoor areas. So we will only use face mask indoors, especially if the cases will further decrease),” Herbosa said, but emphasized it is just his view and will still be subject to evaluation.

Masks prevent the user from inhaling or absorbing droplets and particles that other people may breathe, cough or sneeze out, especially if worn properly and will cover the nose and mouth.

Only 853 new infections were recorded Friday for an overall 50,230 active cases, down from the previous day’s 866 new infections.

As part of continuing efforts to bring back normalcy, the government will hold another National Covid-19 Vaccination Days (Bayanihan, Bakunahan 4) on March 10 and 11, prioritizing the administration of booster doses to senior citizens and those with comorbidities.

The Philippines has so far administered more than 63.4 million doses of Covid-19 primary series nationwide, including those who received the single-shot Janssen and Sputnik Light jabs, while over 10 million fully vaccinated had the booster dose. (PNA)