Duque: Lifting mask mandate still ‘premature’

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MANILA – Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Thursday stated that the face mask mandate remains even when coronavirus cases continue to decline.

Duque cited as example European nations Austria, Denmark, France and Germany now experiencing a surge in coronavirus infections after lifting their mask mandates.

“Matuto tayo sa iba’t ibang karanasan ng mga bansa sa Europa na kung saan tinanggal nila ang mask mandates, naglipana na naman ang mga kaso (Let’s learn from the experience of other countries in Europe. They removed the mask mandates and they saw an increase in cases),” he said.

Duque guaranteed the public that the country’s experts are evaluating the possible removal of face mask mandate and de-escalating to a lower alert status of Covid-19 risk classification.

“Eh, gusto ba natin matulad sa kanila? Ayaw natin, so, dahan dahan tayo (Do we want to be like them? We don’t want that, let’s slow down) let us be prudent and let us be guided by data and science through our expert panel,” he said.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Wednesday that further easing movement restrictions would be deliberated when the entire country is classified under Alert Level 1.

“Sa ngayon masyadong premature, masyado pang maaga, so, Alert Level 1 muna tayo, malamang hanggang sa katapusan ng termino ng ating Pangulong Duterte (At the moment, it’s premature, so, we’ll be under Alert Level 1, maybe until the end of President Duterte’s term),” Duque said.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.