Clarifications on the spread of COVID-19 both through airborne particles and droplets were made by Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire in the latest press briefing with Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, today, 28 January 2022.
Reminding the public that COVID can easily spread through the air, Undersecretary Vergeire stated that, “Kinakailangan nating sumunod sa minimum public health standards gaya ng pagsusuot ng face masks at physical distancing – hindi lamang ng ating mga sarili kundi pati ng mga taong nakapaligid sa atin.”
Implementation of minimum public health standards (MPHS) and the “mask-hugas-iwas-airflow” has been in place to remind Filipinos of the different health protocols. In line with that, Undersecretary Vergeire underscored that ensuring proper ventilation in homes, workplaces, and other establishments is highly-recommended to allow the circulation of clean air indoors, which helps further prevent the spread of the virus.
The DOH noted that proper ventilation can be achieved by always keeping windows or doors open for fresh air to flow or putting an electric fan in front of a window for good air circulation. If the weather’s too hot to keep windows open, one can open it for a few minutes every hour.
Vergeire also reminded the public that in case they’re meeting with friends, colleagues, or relatives, they should make sure the meeting is in a well-ventilated space. It is best to practice social distancing and the wearing of face masks at all times. If possible, limit interaction to an hour to limit transmissions and infections.
With the ongoing expansion of vaccination coverage and opening of more sites through programs such the Department’s “Resbakuna sa Botika at Medical Clinics” program, the Undersecretary noted the importance of vaccines as our protection from COVID-19, “Hinihikayat ang lahat na upang maging protektado, tayo ay maging bakunado. Magparehistro at agarang tumungo sa ating mga vaccination sites at makipag-ugnayan na sa ating mga LGUs para makapagpabakuna laban sa COVID-19.”
Preparations are also underway for the rollout of pediatric vaccinations for children aged five (5) to eleven (11) years-old this coming February. As children are also susceptible to the virus, and cases around the country remain high due to the Omicron variant, it is imperative that younger populations have access to the safe and effective vaccines.
The DOH urges the public to strictly follow all of the minimum public health standards and protocols implemented by the Department. In addition to vaccination, these practices will help in achieving maximum protection from the virus. These collective efforts in preventing further transmission of COVID-19 is a step towards living in the ‘new normal’.