MANILA, Oct 27 (Mabuhay) — A group of health workers is against the government’s plan to make the use of face mask in indoor settings optional.

(MNS photo)

Alliance of Health Workers president Robert Mendoza cautioned against further relaxing protocols given the threat of highly transmissible and more immune-evasive omicron subvariants.

“Tutol tayo diyan, ‘yung optional na pagtanggal ng mask sa indoor, dahil alam natin may mga bagong variant ng omicron,” he said.

Mendoza cited the local transmission of XBB subvariant and XBC variant in the country.

The XBC, a recombinant of the omicron BA.2 and delta (B.1.617.2) variant, has claimed 5 lives so far, he added.

“Sa amin, hindi padalos-dalos sana ang ating pagsasabi ng ganiyan dahil alam natin kung meron lang free mass testing, siguro hindi lang ito ang datos na nakukuha natin,” Mendoza said.

For the group, the Philippines should not be compared to other countries that have loosened their COVID-19 protocols.

“Dito kasi sa ‘tin, once magkaroon na naman ng surge, imagine ‘yung last time, ‘yung last year, ‘yu