The Philippines is reinforcing COVID-19 protocols as the capital region sees a spike in new infections, threatening economic recovery and hopes of a return to normal life.
Over the past few days, the country has been seeing over 3,000 new COVID-19 cases reported daily as the public seemed to have grown complacent with the easing of restrictions and arrival of vaccines.
To contain the spread of the virus, the Department of Health asked local government units to step up its implementation of COVID-19 protocols.
Here's what you need to know about steps being taken to contain virus transmission:
Consider wearing a double mask.
The Department of Health has urged the public to consider wearing double masks along with the standard face shield as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. It however noted that the trendy CopperMask "might not be that good" in halting the spread of COVID-19 because of the hole in its chin portion.
Masks should be fitted to the wearer's face and should have no gaps, the health department said.
No PDA for now.
Couples are not exempt from minimum health standards too. The Philippine National Police (PNP) reminded lovers to refrain from public display of affection or PDA as the country battles a new spike in COVID-19 cases.
PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana said law enforcers would reprimand violators of minimum health standards which includes physical distancing.
"Ang mga mamamayan po kasi nakalimot na rin po talaga. Kahit po sana ang mag-asawa i-observe pa rin nila yung minimum health and safety protocols in public. Mahirap po talaga ang hawaan ng virus," Usana said.
More policemen deployed.
Don't be surprised if you see more policemen in the streets. PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas has ordered increased police presence to support the implementation of public health protocols.
The move is meant to ensure that Filipinos wear face masks, face shields, and observe physical distancing in public places.
“We cannot afford to lower our guard against the virus, especially at this point when the cure is already within reach,” Sinas said.
Localized lockdowns are enforced.
Some cities have enforced localized lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19. Small areas reporting high cases of the virus are restricted such as in Manila, where the city government is providing food supplies to limit the movement of people in select barangays.
Other cities in Metro Manila such as Pasay and Quezon have also implemented localized lockdowns.
Curfews are also strictly implemented to cap rising virus infections.