The government is considering lifting the mandatory wearing of masks in open spaces by the fourth quarter of the year, once the vaccination rate reaches the 90 million target, a government medical adviser said Wednesday.
In the Laging Handa briefing, National Task Force against Covid-19 medical adviser Dr. Ted Herbosa backed the statement of vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, who said that the mandatory use of masks would “most likely” be scrapped by the last quarter of the year.
“By that time, if 90 million individuals are already fully vaccinated, that’s already 90 percent of the population. Many people who contracted Covid-19 and were vaccinated, many people already have antibodies and protection against the disease,” Herbosa said.
“Maybe the use of the face mask rule can be lifted if the majority of Filipinos are already protected. Perhaps, in an open-air we would no longer require the public if the big chunk of the population are fully vaccinated,” he added.
The government is eyeing to fully inoculate 90 million Filipinos by the end of June, a month before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term.
However, Herbosa noted that the government still has to consider other factors such as potential emergence of new Covid-19 variants and waning effects of vaccines to fully vaccinated individuals.
“These are the things that we need to consider but we still need to be cautious. Let us still wear masks in enclosed spaces or high-risk areas,” he said.
This, as the health department recently said that most of the Covid-19 protocols would be lifted, once the country shifts to Alert Level 1.
Different clusters of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases are currently crafting the new normal roadmap, which includes shifts in protocols and policies to dealing with Covid-19.
Latest data from the National Covid-19 Vaccination Dashboard showed that the country has administered a total of 128,700,168 doses of various Covid-19 vaccines.
Of the administered vaccines, 60,674,767 are fully vaccinated individuals, 60,013,407 are first dose, and 8,011,994 are booster doses.
source: by Jom Garner