DOH confirms community spread of new Covid variants

AFTER testing more than a hundred samples, the Department of Health is now convinced that there is a community spread of the new Covid-19 variants in the National Capital Region.

On Saturday, the DoH said that there were 46 additional B117, 62 B1351 and six P.3 variant cases in the 150 samples sequenced by the Philippine Genome Center.

“Hindi po natin ipag-kakaila na talagang nakita na natin ang mga variants ay nasa cities sa Metro Manila, at yan ay factual na, and in all of the cities, may UK variant na or the South African variant na (We cannot discount the fact that these variants are in different cities in Metro Manila, and it is also a fact that in all cities there could be the UK or the South African variant),” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters on Monday.

She added that the variants have contributed to the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases. However, Vergeire pointed out that the root cause of the spike is low compliance with minimum health standards.

Vergeire said that the DOH is consulting with the World Health Organization if it can officially say that there is community transmission of the variants.

“Sila ang makakapagbigay ng guidance at confirmation (They will give us guidance and confirmation) if there are really local or community transmission of the variants,” she said.