Study suggests wearing of masks generates immunity vs. COVID-19
Marje Pelayo • September 16, 2020 • 75
MANILA, Philippines — Wearing of masks gives a person immunity against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to an article published by the New England Journal of Medicine on September 8, 2020.
The article said there is a high possibility that people are being exposed to small amounts of coronavirus as masks cannot totally filter such viral particles. This allows people to develop immunity or antibodies to eventually fight the virus. This process is called “variolation.”
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Rontgene Solante also noted the level of immunity that wearing of masks gives to an individual and its effect on the community.
“There is evidence that if all of us wear face mask, there’ll be no transmission; there’ll be no infection in the community. So, indirectly the face mask protects the individual and that in itself is defined as immunity against the infection,” he said.
But the Department of Health (DOH) couldn’t confirm the said study.
“We still have to study further itong sinasabing immunity,” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
“Baka iyong (Maybe the) preventive measures that can really work are the combined preventive measures of wearing face masks, wearing face shield, doing physical distancing and hand-washing para tayo ay makaagapay habang wala pang bakuna (for us to survive while there’s no vaccine yet) and we can live with the virus,” Vergeire said.
Dr. Solante, on the other hand, said maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an effective measure against infection.
“You have to keep yourself healthy aside from the health protocols. Exercise, don’t drink. If you have hypertension or diabetes, drink your medication regularly,” Solante said.
“Based on our patients na smokers mataas ang [mortality rate] kasi smokers. Their lungs are already inflamed…doble ang inflammation mas lalong severe (Based on our patients who are smokers, mortality rate is high among smokers because their lungs are already inflamed. The inflammation is double, more severe),” he added.
The DOH has issued Memorandum 0165 in March requiring all nutrition and dietetics services in hospitals with cases of COVID-19 to provide their patients and staff with healthy and nutritious foods to help boost their immune system. MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)
MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) is now requiring facility-based isolation for confirmed asymptomatic and mild coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases through IATF Resolution 74.
The new policy however, exempts patients who are considered vulnerable or having comorbidities and their home meets the conditions specified in the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Joint Administrative Order 2020-0001.
Likewise, another exception is when the Ligtas COVID-19 Centers within the region are fully occupied and the local government unit does not have sufficient isolation facilities.
MANILA, Philippines — Iloilo City has been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) effective September 25 until October 9 due to the increasing number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque the new measure is based on the issued Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution 74 which also requires facility-based isolation for confirmed asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 cases.
However, the resolution exempts patients who are considered vulnerable or having comorbidities as confirmed by the local health officer.
Another exception would be when the Ligtas COVID-19 Centers within the region are fully occupied and the local government unit does not have sufficient isolation facilities.
On Tuesday (September 22), 33 employees of the Iloilo City Hall tested positive for COVID-19 prompting the three-day temporary closure of the establishment beginning Wednesday (September 23) as declared by Mayor Jerry Treñas in Executive Order No. 215-A.
Prior to that, 13 barangays in the city were placed under total lockdown due to the increase in community transmission of COVID-19.
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday said it will do away with deadlines and instead continue to hire contact tracers until their target of at least 50,000 is reached.
In a statement, DILG spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the agency’s provincial and city field offices will continue to accept applications until the slots allocated to them have been filled up.
The department earlier announced that the submission of applications for contact tracers is only until Sept. 23.
“What’s important to us is to fill up the slots and recruit the most number of Contact Tracers as provided in the Bayanihan 2 law so those who meet the deadline will immediately be processed but we will continue to accept applications until we have met our targets,” he said.
Malaya said that some 10,000 individuals have already applied in Metro Manila but many have incomplete documents so they are giving more time for them to complete the requirements on a first come, first served basis.
“As soon as they are deemed qualified by the selection board, they will be hired, trained, and deployed to the various LGUs,” he added.
The DILG official said the first batch of DILG-hired contact tracers will be deployed to the local government units by first week of October.
The department earlier said that local and overseas Filipino workers whose service have been recently terminated or their employment contracts were not renewed amid the pandemic will be given priority in the hiring process.
To qualify, the applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree or college level in an allied medical course or criminology course.
Aspirants must also be skilled in data gathering and have assisted in research and documentation; able to interview COVID-19 cases and close contacts in order to gather data; possess the ability to advocate public health education messages; and have investigative capability.
“While our first preference is college graduates or college level of allied medical courses or criminology, we are also open to graduates or college level of any course. So, we urge them to apply and help the country defeat COVID-19,” he said. Malaya said applicants are required to submit an application letter, Personal Data Sheet, National Bureau of Investigation clearance, diploma or transcript of record, and drug test result to the nearest DILG provincial or city field office.
Contact tracers will earn a minimum of P18,784 per month in a contract of service status.
Their responsibilities include conducting interviews, profiling, and perform an initial public health risk assessment of COVID-19 cases and their identified close contacts; refer the close contacts to isolation facilities; conduct enhanced contact tracing in collaboration with other agencies and private sectors; conduct daily monitoring of close and general contacts for at least 14 days, and perform such other tasks in relation to the COVID response.
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