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Mayor Honey mulls bringing back mask mandate within Manila City Hall due to rising covid cases

Face mask distribution
Mayor Honey Lacuna and her guests all wear face masks as the latter turn over donations of face masks to the city government at tdhe mayor's office in City Hall. (JERRY S. TAN)

Mayor Honey Lacuna announce that she is seriously considering to make the wearing of face masks mandatory within the Manila City Hall.

The mayor said the decision stems from the continued steady rise in the number of COVID cases in the city, at least for past two weeks.

During the said period, Lacuna notes that the positivity rate has gone up to 24. 43 percent which is just about the same with the whole of the National Capital Region.

Also during the past couple of weeks, the local government has conducted free RT-PCR tests to 131 individuals and out of that number, 32 tested positive.

“Ibig lamang sabihin na hanggang ngayon ay nandiyan pa rin si COVID kaya mag-ingat tayo at sundin pa din natin ang health protocols,” she said.

These developments, Lacuna said, prodded her to consider bringing back the mask mandate among the employees of the city as a precautionary measure against the rising cases of COVID.

“Bakit ko gagawin ito? Sa Manila City Hall, araw-araw, mula Lunes hanggang Biyernes mula alas-8 ng umaga hanggang alas-5 ng hapon ay napakadami pong naglalabas-masok o nag-aasikaso ng transaksyon kaya ito po ay ating gagawin bilang proteksyon nila at bilang proteksyon na rin ng mga empleyado na di na tumaas pa ang kaso,” she explained.

The mayor said that in fact, some offices in City Hall have already been implementing the mask mandate ahead of her directive.

She also directed the distribution of free face masks at the entrance gates of City Hall for those who will enter the premises to transact in any of the offices inside.

“Ipagpaumanhin nyo po dahil gusto lang namin kayong proteksyunan gayundin ang aming mga empleyado,” she said.

As of 12 noon of May 11, the number of COVID active cases in the city has been registered at 201. Of the number, 31 are new cases.

Lacuna notes that the number reflects only those who have undergone the RT-PCR testing and does not include those who tested positive via antigen.

Those who are positive in antigen tests merely self-isolate and self-medicate and are not included in the official records, she said.

This, according to Lacuna, only goes to show that the number of COVID cases has indeed gone up which is why extreme caution should still be exercised.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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