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COVID-19 WATCH

Go urges gov’t: Provide masks for the poor

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With the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) still very much prevalent in the country, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go is pushing for a stricter implementation of policy on the mandatory wearing of face masks in public to combat the spread of the deadly respiratory disease.

In an interview, the senator Go cited expert recommendation that wearing the right kind of masks significantly decreases risk of spreading the virus.

“I am urging the government to enforce a stronger mask-wearing policy in the country. Let us make this a discipline among all Filipinos as we continue our fight to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Go said.

“According to experts, wearing the right kind of mask decreases the risk of spreading the virus by 85 percent. With social distancing and the use of face shields, the risk may be reduced by more than 90 percent. This is why, in the absence of a vaccine, wearing a mask remains a must,” he added.

He also urged the government to provide masks for those who cannot acquire or afford them, adding that he will talk to the Executive department to discuss how government can provide face masks to poor Filipinos.

“I am urging the government to use its resources to provide face masks, especially to the poor as they need it the most,” said Go.

Meanwhile, Go said he hopes that the provision of face masks to the poor be considered as one of the specific measures the government may implement under the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One or the Bayanihan 2 Act which will be tackled in the Senate again once Congress session resumes.

Earlier, the senator appealed to export-oriented local manufacturers of medical supplies and equipment to retain most of their outputs for use in the Philippines to address the scarcity of certain medical supplies and equipment given worldwide shortage amid the COVID-19 global crisis.

He also emphasized that while donations of medical supplies and equipment from other countries are appreciated, the country cannot rely on outside sources all the time.

“While we appreciate that some countries have given us those much needed items, we cannot rely on outside sources all the time. We need to enhance our own local production capability,” said Go.

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