More Metro residents ignore health protocols

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    OBSERVANCE of some minimum health protocols dropped between three to 13 points in Metro Manila, the epicenter of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, while there was a slim rise in the use of face masks around the country, the September 17 to 20 Social Weather Station (SWS) survey said.

    The survey, which involved 1,249 adult respondents nationwide with a margin of error of ±3 percent, showed there has been a decline in the use of face masks, washing of hands and observance of physical distancing in Metro Manila, which has been under lockdown for nearly seven months.

    SWS said the use of face masks in the National Capital Region (NCR) dropped by 13 points to 77 percent in September from 90 percent in July, while the number of people who washed their hands in Metro Manila dropped by 10 points to 63 percent from 73 percent during the same period.

    The survey results also showed that people observing physical distancing in NCR dropped by 3 points, to 65 percent from 68 percent, while 55 percent of those in Metro Manila are now using face masks whenever they take public transportation or visit establishments like malls, supermarkets and wet markets.

    Around the country, more people are using face masks (79 percent up from 76 percent) and washing their hands (67 percent from 65 percent), while the observance of physical distancing hardly changed (60 percent from 69 percent). Fifty-six percent also said they are now using face shields.

    SWS said more respondents from the Visayas are using face masks at 86 percent (up from 82 percent), followed by those from Mindanao (78 percent up from 72 percent), Metro Manila, and Luzon (76 percent up from 72 percent).

    More people from the Visayas are also washing their hands at 75 percent (up from 69 percent), followed by those from Mindanao (69 percent up from 67 percent), Luzon (64 percent up from 59 percent) and Metro Manila.

    More respondents from the Visayas are also observing “physical distance” with 66 percent (up from 64 percent), followed by those from Metro Manila, Mindanao (60 percent from 57 percent), and Luzon (unchanged at 56 percent).

    More Visayans were also using face shields with 66 percent, followed by those from Mindanao (58 percent), Metro Manila, and Luzon (52 percent).

    Malacanang was pleased that majority of Filipinos are observing the minimum health protocols, saying the latest SWS results “show that our drive to inform and educate people to observe public health standards have reached our countrymen.”

    “The success of this campaign, however, must not lull us into complacency as there is still no vaccine or cure available. We must never fail in reminding our people to continue adhering to these COVID-19 safety measures, especially now that we have started to gradually reopen the economy. We have to take care of the health of our people even as we look after the economic health of the nation. As the President himself appealed, Mask, Hugas, Iwas,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said yesterday.