A POPULAR variant of face masks that has popped up during the pandemic has a distinctive, stylish metallic exterior and profile — and one feature different from other masks in the market: a triangular hole at the bottom portion.
It is this last one that has led Makati Medical Center to prohibit people from entering the hospital while wearing these types of mask.
A photo of a hospital sign that went viral last January 2 spelled the rules out explicitly regarding these, as well as other kinds of masks with valves.
However, on Tuesday, the hospital released a revised version of this advisory:
Philstar Life’s Justine Punzalan sought clarification from the hospital regarding the use of these masks.
MakatiMed director Dr. Saturnino Javier directed the publication to an official statement authored by Dr. Janice Caoli, department manager for Infection Prevention at the hospital.
“MakatiMed earlier released a memo stating that masks with exhalation valves or vents are not recommended to be used in the hospital because these types of masks may not prevent the user from spreading COVID-19 to others. Masks with slits or holes located near the mouth or nose may also allow respiratory droplets to be dispersed in the air,” wrote the memo in part.
Caoli's memo also said that people wearing these types of masks would need to wear a surgical mask to "cover the defect."
According to an article touting the benefits of one brand, that triangular hole at the bottom of the mask “lets the user easily breathe.” A brand representative also bannered the mask's anti-bacterial properties, thanks to its infusion of copper.