Customers shouldn’t be forced to wear masks – Nograles

The “no mask, no entry” policy in some supermarkets, pharmacies, and
restaurants iis illegal, a Palace official said on Monday.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said these establishments should
continue to allow customers inside for as long as they observed
one-meter social distancing.

“Wala naman kaming nilabas na patakaran mula sa Inter-Agency Task
Force na kailangan magsuot ng mask bago pumasok ng supermarket,” he
said in a Laging Handa public briefing.

He said establishments are also limiting the number of people allowed
inside and regularly conduct disinfection.

Netizens criticized the no mask, no entry policy due to a limited
supply of surgical face masks in the country.

In the same briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire
said there is a global shortage of personal protective equipment
(PPE).

Besides the supplies expected from local manufacturers, she said the
department is currently relying on donations from other countries
which are distributed to health workers and other frontline workers in
curbing Covid-19.

“Gusto man po nating bumili ngayon, wala tayong mabilhan kaya tayo ay
umaasa sa ating mga donasyon sa ngayon,” she said.

Last March 18, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez assured that the supply of
face masks will soon be replenished after a Bataan-based manufacturer
agreed to supply 5 million face masks from March until April.

The manufacturer was able to produce 200,0000 face masks per day amid
the huge demand.

“We will have another request to increase the preposition and the
allotment for the Philippines since we recognize that even these
numbers are not enough to provide for all Filipinos,” Lopez said in a
press briefing in Malacañang.

President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the country under a state of
public health emergency and a state of calamity due to the
highly-infectious disease which was already declared by the World
Health Organization as a pandemic.

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