Are face shields effective?

In December, the government’s task force on pandemic response required people to wear face shields on top of face masks outside their homes.

The effectiveness of wearing face shields in preventing COVID-19 transmission has become a subject of debates.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not recommending face shields as a substitute for masks, saying these are not as effective at protecting people from respiratory droplets. Face shields also have large gaps below and alongside the face.

A study published in the journal Physics of Fluids does not find face shields helpful in deflecting droplets.

But the Department of Health has insisted that wearing face shield together with a mask, and following physical distancing rules could decrease risk by more than 90%.

The Philippines, which has one of the worst outbreaks in Southeast Asia, has so far reported 1.2 million coronavirus infections, including over 21,000 deaths.

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