Philippines U-turns on face shields Jun 22, 2021 0 8121 12345 dpa ManilaPhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday backtracked on scrapping the mandatory use of face shields outdoors, amid concern over the spread of more contagious variants of the coronavirus.Hours after presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced that face shields were no longer required outdoors, Duterte decided to keep it mandatory for both indoors and outdoors.“Acting on the advice of health experts and in view of the Delta variant, President Duterte declared that the wearing of face shields, both indoor and outdoor, is still mandatory,” Roque said. Face shields are required alongside face masks in the Philippines, but confusion arose last week when Duterte said face shields need only be worn inside hospitals. Health officials and the government’s Covid-19 task force said they were still necessary.“What is clear is this - face shields are no longer required when outdoors,” Roque said earlier, before later delivering a U-turn. Health experts have argued that face shields provide extra protection against more contagious strains of the coronavirus, like the Delta variant, which emerged in India and has been detected in 17 cases in the Philippines.The government has meanwhile ramped up vaccinations against Covid-19, with more supplies expected to arrive later this month and in July.More than 2.1 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated since the government launched the vaccination drive in March.The Philippines’ total coronavirus caseload rose to 1,364,239, with 5,249 cases reported on Monday, the Department of Health said. The death toll was up by 128 to 23,749, it added.Despite thousands of cases reported daily, the government has been easing coronavirus restrictions in a bid to jump-start the economy, which has contracted for the fifth straight quarter since last year. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES India starts free COVID vaccination for all above 18 but glitches remain Jun 22, 2021 0 358 Yoga a ‘source of inner strength’ during pandemic: Modi Jun 22, 2021 0 355 Hong Kong’s Apple Daily facing closure after arrest of executives Jun 22, 2021 0 351 Iran’s Raisi rules out meeting US President Biden dpa Tehran Iranian president-elect Ebrahim Raisi has declined any meeting with US President Joe Biden so long as US sanctions remain in place, and also spoke out against a full renegotiation of the 2015 nuclear deal that .. Lapid to be first Israeli foreign min to visit UAE dpa Tel Aviv Israel’s new Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is to become the first to visit the United Arab Emirates, with a trip planned for next week. The head of the Yesh Atid party is to travel to the Gulf state for a two-day visit .. HK’s strict visa rules to hit relations: Taiwan dpa Taipei Taiwan’s government on Monday condemned Hong Kong for imposing strict visa rules on Taiwanese officials, a move it says will worsen diplomatic relations. The criticism came a day after the withdrawal of seven .. Turkish Constitutional Court agrees to rule on ban of pro-Kurdish HDP dpa Istanbul Judges at Turkey’s Constitutional Court unanimously accepted on Monday a case regarding the possible ban of the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), state news agency Anadolu ..