Senate President Vicente Sotto III is calling for an inquiry on the efficacy of wearing face shields to prevent the spread of COVID-19 following a week of changing policies on when and where to wear them.
Sotto directed the Senate Committee of the Whole to investigate with the goal or reviewing existing health and safety protocols. Citing information from various health organizations abroad, he said face shields provide no additional protection against the novel coronavirus.
He said wearing of face shields "is not among the recommended protocol from world health experts to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 virus."
"For the marginalized and poor, face shield is very costly for something that do not afford protection against the virus. Our people should rather invest in a proper mask that is scientifically proven to protect them from the virus," Sotto said.
Sotto last week urged the Department of Health to revisit the policy on facial coverings, saying President Rodrigo Duterte told him that the government would limit the use of face shields rto hospitals.
Duterte would later clarify that face shields are still required to be worn indoors and outdoors, adding that was only "shooting the breeze with the congressmen" when they discussed face shields and he never wanted to ease the policy.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Edsel Salvana also recommended to keep the policy on using face shields, saying that it serves as an additional layer of protection against the virus.
For her part, Dr. Anna Ong-Lim, another infectious disease specialist, said using face shields on top of face masks is proven to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.