The Department of Health (DoH) on Tuesday reiterated that minimum public health standards including wearing masks, together with vaccination and boosters have helped keep the Covid-19 case counts low despite the detection of new subvariants.,“Scientific evidence supports the use of best-fitting face masks in reducing the transmission not only of Covid-19 but also other infectious and respiratory diseases including Monkeypox, should it reach our country,” the agency said in a statement.,It also added that based on the current protocols of the Inter-Agency Task Force, masks are allowed to be taken off, only for specific instances such as when eating or during certain sports and activities in well-ventilated areas.,“The Covid-19 virus is still present and the pandemic is not yet over. Individuals can still catch the virus, most especially for our vulnerable population,” the statement added.,The statement came after the local government of Quirino floated the possibility of lifting the mandatory use of anti-Covid masks in preparation for the new normal.,“In the new normal, it’s good to prepare for events. We see that maybe we should talk about or study, and we have started studying in our province, the optional wearing of face masks implemented in Cebu,” Governor Dakila Cua said in a televised briefing.,“Perhaps there should be dimension or depth to this policy, at least outdoors, because there would come a time that the pandemic will subside and become a local matter,” Cua added.,This came after Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia made wearing masks optional in open spaces in the province.,Cua, who also chairs the League of Provinces of the Philippines, said he would include the issue on the mask mandate in his meeting on Friday with his members., , ,