THE Department of Health (DOH) cited Friday, September 30, 2022, the experience of Cebu province, including Cebu City, as proof that easing the face mask policy alone cannot cause a surge in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases.

In a press briefing, DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the fact that Cebu remains under the low risk classification despite being pioneers in eased face mask policy prove that it is not wrong to make it optional.

"This gives us credence or basis in saying that it is not just masking that leads us to more infections," said Vergeire.

"There are other factors we need to consider. It's a whole gamut of factors whenever a person gets sick of infectious disease," she said.

Vergeire reiterated that the surge in Covid-19 cases in some parts of the country is also due to increased mobility, presence of highly transmissible variants and subvariants, low immunization rate, and opening of more sectors.

The DOH issued the statement after the independent Octa Research noted how Cebu, including Cebu City, remains to be at low risk from Covid-19.

This was despite Cebu and Cebu City being the first local government units to ease the face mask policy, ahead of the National Government.

This is in contrast to the surge in Covid-19 cases in parts of Luzon, including the National Capital Region.

Not a few blamed the rise in cases in Metro Manila to the decision of the National Government to make the wearing of face masks optional when outdoors. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)