MANILA, Philippines — Preventive measures against COVID-19 are still being practiced by large majorities of Filipinos, according to a special survey the Social Weather Stations (SWS) held from Sept. 17 to Sept. 20.
The survey found that in the past month, 79 percent of Filipinos always used a face mask when going out. It rose from 76 percent in July and 77 percent in May.
Malacañang hailed the survey results and said that a majority of Filipinos followed the government’s health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19, said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
Due to govt’s actions
“This goes to show that our drive to inform and educate people to observe public health standards have reached our countrymen,” he said, warning, however, that Filipinos should not be lulled into complacency, as there remains no cure or vaccine for COVID-19.
According to the survey, the number of people who wash their hands several times a day hardly changed, moving from 65 percent in July to 67 percent in September. It was at 68 percent in May.
The number of those who always keep the recommended physical distance of one meter from other people also did not change much from 59 percent in July to 60 percent in September. It used to be 64 percent in May.
Less favored face shield
The practice of wearing a face shield when riding public transportation, or going to establishments like malls, markets, or drugstores, was surveyed by SWS for the first time and 56 percent say they always use a face shield. However, those who “always” follow the protocols declined in Metro Manila.
Compared to July, those who always use a face mask rose in the Visayas (86 percent from 82 percent), Mindanao (78 percent from 72 percent) and in Luzon outside of Manila (76 percent from 72 percent).
In Metro Manila, the number of those who always use face masks went down by 13 points from 90 percent to 77 percent.
Those who always wash their hands also rose in the Visayas (75 percent from 69 percent) and in Luzon outside of Manila (64 percent from 59 percent). It barely changed in Mindanao (69 percent from 67 percent). But it fell by 10 points in Metro Manila from 73 percent to 63 percent.
Those who always keep physical distance rose in the Visayas at 66 percent from 64 percent and Mindanao at 60 percent from 57 percent. It stayed at 56 percent in Luzon outside of Manila and fell slightly in Metro Manila (65 percent from 68 percent).
Those who always use a face shield when riding public transportation, or going to establishments like malls, markets and drugstores, were highest in the Visayas at 66 percent, followed by Mindanao at 58 percent, Metro Manila at 55 percent and Luzon outside of Manila at 52 percent.
The survey used mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing of 1,249 Filipinos 18 years old and above nationwide. It had a sampling margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percent for national percentages.
—Reports from Inquirer Research and Leila B. Salaverria
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