Singapore – Members of the public expressed their bewilderment towards the ever-changing advisory regarding face masks and shields after news that the latter was only allowed for specific groups.
According to a straitstimes.com report on Monday (June 1), Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and the Multi-Ministry Task Force for Covid-19 retracted their earlier advisory that gave people an option of whether to wear a face mask or a face shield in public.
“We know that Covid-19 is spread predominantly through droplets,” said Mr Gan, noting that the task force has decided face shields are less effective than masks in filtering and reducing virus transmission.
“While face shields may provide some protection, the design of face shields typically leaves a gap between the face and the shield, which means that the wearer could still be depositing droplets. This is unlike masks,” added Mr Gan.
In short, a person wearing a face shield poses a higher risk of transmitting the virus instead of keeping oneself and others safe.
Specific groups such as teachers, those with medical conditions which prevent them from wearing masks, and children aged 12 and under are permitted to continue wearing face shields.
Members from the online community responded to the update, confused at the back and forth “flip prata” advisories released. The Ministry of Health (MOH) earlier said that all types of masks, including reusable, homemade masks and face shields, brought adequate basic protection from the virus.
Stacy Cheng noted the difficulty of keeping up with the protocols if they change every other day. “It’s all about getting the policies right at the start, not twisting and turning them every week for it shows lack of foresight and planning,” said Damien Tan.
Netizens added that they already purchased their face shields only to find out that they couldn’t use them. Huang Zhien tagged MOH and asked if a refund was allowed for the face shields.
A more significant issue was highlighted by Ameenathu Fathima who questioned the validity and safety of sending kids back to school with face shields if said devices don’t provide enough protection.
Meanwhile, Tricia Feng commented that it was equally important to educate the public to wear their face masks properly, as it was meant to go over the nose and mouth and not on one’s chin as décor.
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