MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) rejected on Saturday a call from some business groups to exempt factory and office workers from wearing face shields at work, saying personal protective equipment (PPE) remains crucial in fighting the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) despite improving public health indicators.

“We will not compromise [on] this position because science and evidence say that when you wear a mask you can decrease the incidence or probability of getting infected by as much as 70 percent,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said at the Laging Handa briefing.

If a person wears a face shield on top of the mask and practices physical distancing, he or she could reduce the chance of getting infected by as much as 99 percent, Vergeire added.

“Our point and position from the start is we will push and advocate wearing face masks, wearing face shields, practicing physical distancing, washing

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Gov. David Ige reportedly scolded state senators who visited the Department of Health to obtain first-hand information about contact tracing staffing and operations, accusing them of being “neither respectful nor appropriate.”

I would opine that it appears from media reports that the Health Department has misled the public about its ability to manage contact tracing. Such behavior is considerably more disrespectful and inappropriate.

Health Director Bruce Anderson and state epidemiologist Sarah Park should be assigned cases to contact trace.

Cyrus Siu



Closure of community gardens shortsighted

The most recent COVID-19 shutdown includes community gardens (“Oahu beaches, parks and team sports will be halted once more,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 7). Those who have registered garden plots will no longer be able to legally tend their plants and access foods they have invested time and money into growing.

This, of course, is a time when many of these gardeners may be out

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