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Portable air purifiers give a ‘false sense of security' against COVID-19, says DOH

By AYIE LICSI Published Aug 16, 2021 6:34 pm

The Department of Health reiterated that air purifiers “gives a false sense of security” against COVID-19 as there is no evidence that the device provides protection against the virus.

"Wala ho 'yang ebidensiya. Bagamat hindi ito nakaka-cause ng harm sa tao, 'di rin po siya nakakabigay ng proteksyon sa COVID-19," said DOH Undersecretary Rosette Vergeire in a press briefing today.

"What it will do is give a sense of false security sa ating mga kababayan at baka magkaroon ng complacency because of this and lalo magkaroon ng infection," she added.

Vergeire noted that experts and evidence say the necklace air purifiers do not provide protection. "Sana po hindi na lang natin ito gamitin," she concluded. 

Air purifiers figured in the news recently after the Cebu provincial government passed a memorandum requiring public utility vehicle drivers and conductors to wear personal air purifiers during their trips to protect them from COVID-19.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said in a press conference that using the device can "create a safer atmosphere" and urged PUV drivers and conductors to purchase their own personal air purifiers through a Cebu supplier.

The DOH has issued a statement last year on the use of personal air purifiers, saying that its usage should not replace the minimum health standards such as wearing face masks, practicing physical distancing, and handwashing.

Last year, the Cebu provincial government also issued a memorandum encouraging employees to practice "tuob" or traditional steam inhalation twice a day to protect them from infection. The DOH also disputed the efficacy of the practice, saying that there is no scientific evidence that steam therapy kills the virus causing COVID-19.

Image from AirTamer