Manila Mayor Isko Moreno will retain the City’s non-mandatory use of face shields amid threats of a new COVID-19 variant, called Omicron.
Moreno, who has been advocating for a science-based response to the pandemic, said he would rather spend on the procurement of medicines, and medical supplies and equipment, instead of face shields.
“Until science will agree with it that it will give extra protection, siguro ibili na lang natin ng gamot, kesa face shield,” he said at a media briefing.
“Bili na lang tayo ng remdesivir, tocilizumab, oxygen, gamit sa ospital.”
Moreno was among the first to lift the mandatory use of face shields, arguing that its use against COVID-19 lacks scientific evidence. Requiring face shields also translates to an additional cost to the public, which could have been used to buy other necessities, the Manila mayor said.
“Kung pagagastusin lang natin ang taong bayan na wala naman suporta ng siyensiya na ito’y nakakatulong, we have to think twice,” Moreno said.
“Kasi sa hirap ng buhay ng tao, ‘yung P10-20 araw-araw, P300-500 a month ay malaking pera na sa isang ordinaryong Pilipino.”
The Manila government has been providing free access to anti-COVID-19 medicines, such as remdesivir, tocilizumab, molnupiravir, and bariticinib.
Moreno added that if the situation escalates, the Manila government would consider funding the creation of a new hospital to accommodate COVID-19 patients.
“Kung daan-daang milyon ang gagamitin natin, o bilyon-bilyon ang gagamitin natin, patayo na lang tayo ng COVID hospital in preparation,” he said.
“Baka mamaya ‘yung omicron will bring us in the March or April level of this year.” Data from the Department of Health showed the city logged over 3,000 cases per week in March.