How can Filipino women help fight COVID in the Philippines?



The Philippines has taken a serious hit on the global stage as the absolute worst country for managing the spread of the SARS-CoV2 pathogen. “But let’s not talk about that,” suggested a doctor on FPMag‘s editorial board.  “Let’s rally Filipino women and their families and prove something: the Philippines can beat this virus.”

“If anyone in the Philippines is going to save the country from plummeting further into the depths of COVID-19 despair, it will be its women who step up and become the center of the family’s health care solutions,” suggests Dr. Nassima al Amouri who works for The RINJ Foundation, a global women’s rights group.

In this article, FPMag reports its investigation into Bloomberg’s allegations against the Philippines putting it into last place in Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking of the “best and worst places”, proves to be accurate.

The silver lining is an arrow pointing to a better way ahead, according to local medical workers as well as Philippines health undersecretary, Maria Rosario Vergeire.

Women activists say women in the Philippines need to play a bigger role in pressing for better mitigation adherence in their communities, especially among the men, and getting the families in their communities vaccinated.


By Melissa Hemingway


“The big focus from the outset is to learn,” the doctor added.

“The first thing that must be learned is that vaccines work; all vaccines used n the Philippines are safe; and hence everyone must get vaccinated, as soon as possible” she said.

“And I must tell my sisters that what their instincts tell them is likely the best approach. COVID-19 is a deadly virus; wearing a good mask properly is effective in checking the disease spread; getting vaccinated now and into the future will save lives; and staying clean is extremely important. Folks need to do a better job of frequently washing their hands.”

In the Philippines, infections among men number greater than women. Also, men are “walking disasters” when it comes to properly wearing personal protection equipment, say medical workers.

In another random survey at a local mall in the Philippines, outside of Manila, most of the men were not properly wearing masks. Almost all were ignoring the Philippines rule about wearing face shields but instead wore them atop their heads and not over their faces. That is a mute point because the shields they are wearing are not certified medical shields but scoops that collect the ambient air and flow it past the wearer’s mouth, nose and eyes. The Philippines President wears such a device. Families of government officials are selling these items. That matter has been reported in another article.

Philippines news photo: Here is why the SARS2 spread in the Philippines has been wide and wild. The person to the left is passing the unmasked person on the right about 30 centimetres distant. Wearing a loosely fitting procedure mask, the passing person has zero protection from infection from the person on the right. Procedure masks are not intended to protect the wearer. They are for blocking spit from a nurse’s mouth landing on a patient’s open incision in the operating room. They do not block the .1 to .3 micron particles of SARS-CoV2 from the mouth of the person on the right.
Photo Credit: Melissa Hemingway/FPMag. Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto FPMag


In today’s survey in the Philippines, the third day this month, no women were seen violating public guidelines for personal protective equipment to mitigate SARS2 but half the males were seen in close contact without proper protective equipment.

Four layer home made masks are better than what these men are wearing. In fact they are better than most masks sold on Lazada and Shopee. Watch the video.


“One important piece of advice is make your own masks. Use at least four layers of different cloth from your rag bag or whatever is available. Most of what is sold on Lazada and Shopee is fraudulent goods that do not meet the claims of the sellers. Many items have been acquired in the Philippines and sent to labs and reported to manufacturers who have been counterfeited against and the outcome is proof that Filipinos are being cheated and that they are getting sick in the process,” explains  Manila nurse, Karinna Angeles.

Some fake disease-prevention respirator masks may provide a little protection but that is guesswork.

Conversely, with proper certification, a respirator mask bought from a certified standards-compliant manufacturer can be trusted. These we see on Lazada and Shopee are mostly fakes insofar as their promise to protect the wearer 95% as in a KN95, N95, FFP2 or Korean Kf94. They are in the vast majority, frauds according to tests conducted by FPMag and according to legitimate manufacturers.

“For example, buying and wearing a mask that is promised to deliver 95% efficacy in filtering microscopic virus particles but that is testing as low as 14%, not 95%, is criminal fraud but also negligently exposing the buyer to deadly risk. Sadly, this is true in the vast majority of items,” said nurse Angeles who has done an extensive study into personal protection equipment for nurses.

The buy-no buy criteria for masks, from a nurse PPE specialist.

  1. “If the mask is not clearly marked with the name of the manufacturer and the standards that it meets, don’t buy it.
  2. If it is marked as ‘FDA-Approved’, do not buy it.
  3. If the mask is being sold by a reseller, don’t buy it,” she said.
  4. “Buy only from the manufacturer, or the manufacturer’s official agent.”

University professors in certified laboratories have been testing masks. A certified N95 mask provides 95% protection of the wearer.

Face masks: Tests show that at least half and probably most of what is available to consumers online, is fraudulent.

 

Many masks sold on Lazada and Shopee platforms that pretend to be 3M 1860 respirators are fraudster’s counterfeits. This one is just that and the perpetrators are being sought for criminal charges. They have been tested and will not adequately protect the user as would a real N95 respirator.

Counterfeit Respirators

Part of an FPMag investigation into Fake China PPE: According to 3M data, these respirator masks
are counterfeit. 3M says it does not make the 1860
in China or Hong Kong. And the B20018 Lot number is not real.
Many tens of thousands have been sold in the Philippines by Filipino
sellers, drop shipping from China according to the Shopee.ph web site. The masks when dismantled do not have the correct number of layers nor do they have the correct construction which is a patented process.