There are several types of face masks in the market, but valve masks—those with a plastic disc—are not effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in enclosed spaces, the Food and Drug Administration warned on Tuesday.
FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said the mask can be used in open areas, as long as people are 1 to 2 meters apart. However, hospitals have banned the use of valve masks as it leaves patients at risk of contracting the respiratory disease.
In an interview on ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo, Domingo clarified masks with valves aren’t actually medical grade: "Karamihan po kasi sa masks na may valve, hindi po registered iyan as a medical device. Designed po sila for industrial use, sa mga construction workers, karpintero. Ang talaga kini-keep out niya 'yung abo o particles. Hindi siya designed for infection control."
(Most masks with valves are not registered as a medical device. They are designed for industrial use, for construction workers, and carpenters. It keeps out ash and particles. It’s not designed for infection control.)
“Ang virus at bacteria (na papasok) nasasala niya, ang palabas po hindi. (It filters out incoming virus and bacteria, but it doesn’t prevent it from coming out.)”
Domingo recommended using surgical and cloth face masks to prevent the further spread of the virus.
Main image from Pixabay.