WHO’s Abeyasinghe: We don’t know if faceshields a factor in delaying Delta spread

The World Health Organization (WHO) Philippines on Tuesday said it was unsure if face shields helped delay the spread of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant but added that the shields may still protect against infection.advertisementhttps://ce6c53de1726bc1b273735e9302cb2ab.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

“It’s interesting that we have also been able to sort of delay the speed at which the Delta variant is spreading and we don’t know whether the face shields are a contributory factor,” Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO country representative, told a briefing.

Later in the day, Abeyasinghe said face shields may still reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 infection by protecting the eyes and providing an added layer of protection, especially for those who do not wear their face masks properly.

Abeyasinghe noted that the Philippines is among one of the “few” countries advocating for face shields on top of face masks.

In an episode of GMA News’ “Need To Know,” wind engineer Joshua Agar from the University of the Philippines said face shields could make people more prone to catching the virus that causes COVID-19.

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The Department of Health (DOH), a staunch advocate of face shields, has long maintained that evidence supports the use of shields.

The DOH said a study published June 2020 in the leading international medical journal The Lancet found that eye protection could provide additional benefit against COVID-19 infection.

In June this year, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III also insisted that it was not yet time to drop the use of face shields due to the country’s low COVID-19 vaccine coverage.

The Philippines has fully vaccinated over 13.7 million individuals as of August 29, still far from its goal of inoculating over 70 million people. –NB, GMA News

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