CATARMAN, Northern Samar — To avoid respiratory droplet transmission from potentially infected person of COVID-19, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Northern Samar, through Board Member Albert Lucero, passed an ordinance on the mandatory use of face mask or other protective equipment in public areas in the province.

This he said during the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council meeting at the Ibabao Hall, Capitol on May 8.

Lucero said with the emerging infectious disease, the use of face mask in the community should be considered only as a complementary measure and not as a replacement of established preventive measure such as social distancing and proper handwashing with soap and water.

He said that the use of face mask in public places may serve as a means of source control to reduce the spread of infection in the community from infected individuals who have not yet developed symptoms or who remain asymptomatic.

He said that handkerchief, bandana, face towel or any cloth will be considered as long as it covers the mouth.

Penalties shall be imposed for persons found in violation of the ordinance as follows: first offense – P1,000; second offense – P2,000; third offense – P5,000 or one month imprisonment or both, at the discretion of the court. (ldl/tbc/PIA-Northern Samar)