MANILA, May 11 (Mabuhay) — The face mask mandate will most likely be unnecessary if the number of daily COVID-19 cases in the Philippines drops to less than 200 in the next three months, an expert in infectious diseases said Wednesday.

But Dr. Rontgene Solante still pointed out the importance of face mask in preventing the spread of COVID-19, especially the highly contagious Omicron variant.

“At naranasan natin ‘yan na mabilis nating na-control ang Omicron because of the way we wear the face mask,” Solante said at the Laging Handa briefing.

“Sa tingin ko medyo mahaba haba pa ‘yan. Let’s see in the next two to three months kung talagang tuloy-tuloy na ang pagbaba ng kaso –like less than two hundred — most likely hindi na natin kailangan ng face mask [mandate],” he added.

Solante was asked to comment on the possibility of lifting mandatory face mask policy anytime soon, considering that cases in South Korea continued to decrease even after it lifted the outdoor mask mandate.

At present, the Philippines has logged a total of 3,687,320 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which60,439 have died and 3,638 remain active. (MNS)

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