MANILA — There is “no solid evidence yet” showing the recently detected strain of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) virus in the country is more transmissible, a health official said Monday.
This, after the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) said that D614G or the ‘G’ variant or a “globally dominant form” of the virus “can increase the viral rate of transmission of the disease”.
The PGC reported the variant was found in a small sample of positive cases from Quezon City.
In a virtual media forum, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Department of Health (DOH) authorized the PGC to continue studying the strain.
“Wala pa rin tayong gano’ng solid evidence to say na ‘yan talaga ay mangyayari (We still don’t have solid evidence to say that it [strain has higher infectiousness level] will really happen ),” Vergeire said.
Since the samples which contain the strain were from Quezon City, Vergeire said that PGC’s studies on the strain “may not be a representative sample for the rest of the country”.
“Whatever strain there may be in the Philippines for SARS-CoV-2, we just continue to enforce strictly and properly the minimum health standards,” she added.
Vergeire reminded the public to observe minimum health standards — wearing masks, regular handwashing, physical distancing and staying at home — to prevent the spread of the virus regardless of its strain.
As of Monday 4 p.m., the DOH reported a total of 164,474 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 112,759 recoveries and 2,681 deaths. (PNA)