MANILA, Philippines – The UK COVID variant is in six regions in the country after samples of patients were subjected to ‘genome sequencing’, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
The DOH has identified these regions as: Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), National Capital Region (NCR), Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Davao Region.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III asserted that this is still not enough to confirm that there is already a community transmission of the UK variant in the country.
“There is no clear word or conclusion as to what exactly the effect of these variants is on the overall case of COVID-19,” said Duque.
He said the increase in COVID-19 cases in some NCR cities cannot be attributed to the more contagious UK variant.
The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) are still testing the samples to get more information on the extent of the variant.
It will be recalled that on Sunday, the DOH recorded 18 new cases of UK variants in the Philippines. In the new cases, 13 returning overseas Filipinos arrived from January 3 to 27.
In addition, there are three cases confirmed with mutations of N501Y and E484K, all of which are from Central Visayas. The DOH is set to send samples of the new mutation to the World Health Organization (WHO) for their own analysis.