THE Department of Health Davao (DOH) advised the public especially those who are in good health to not use the surgical mask to avoid a shortage of supply in the wake of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.
The demand for surgical masks went high due to public apprehension from being infected by the respiratory disease, thus, DOH Davao reiterated the DOH advisory when to wear masks.
In an advisory issued on Sunday, DOH said that people who are in good health need not to use face masks.
The use of the surgical mask is only recommended for persons caring for the sick; persons with respiratory infection/symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, or have fever; and healthcare and other frontline workers.
“The public is enjoined to judiciously use masks to prevent the shortage of surgical masks and N95 masks,” the DOH said.
DOH also said N95 must be reserved for healthcare and other frontline workers who are attending to patients with respiratory infections/symptoms such as cough and cold; entering rooms of patients under investigation or confirmed nCoV patients to provide care or clean/disinfect the environment or obtain clinical specimen.
It is only advisable also for people handling clinical specimen, soiled medical supplies or equipment or come in contact with potentially contaminated environment surfaces.
“In all settings, masks should be used in combination with frequent hand hygiene with alcohol-based hand rubs or soap/water,” DOH added.
Based on the monitoring, in Davao City, most of the pharmaceutical firms are running out of supply of surgical masks due to the sudden rise of demand. People resorted to hoarding to ensure that they get enough supply for their own protection.
In a previous press conference, DOH Davao director Dr. Annabelle Yuman said that since there is no confirmed case yet in Davao Region, thus, wearing surgical masks is not yet necessary.
DOH advised the public to practice frequent and proper hand washing, practice proper cough etiquette, always bring a handkerchief/tissue, cover mouth and nose using handkerchief/tissue (sleeves or crook of the elbow may also be used to cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing) to prevent acquiring the disease.
Law enforcers enjoined the DOH in monitoring the supply of surgical masks to prevent overpricing and hoarding.