MANILA – Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday belied reports that a new and more fatal SARS-CoV-2 strain, the virus causing coronavirus disease (Covid-19), has been spreading in the country.
“There is no new strain of the virus here in the Philippines. It is very dangerous and irresponsible to say that we now have a different strain here in the country,” she said in a media briefing.
Vergeire was referring to a social media post which reportedly read that “due to rapid and uncontrolled transmission in the past months, the virus has clearly had enough opportunity to mutate into a more dangerous strain”.
The health official said the DOH previously detected the G614 variant of SARS-CoV-2 and while this specific strain is said to have an increased viral load, “this does not automatically mean that it is more infectious nor it is more fatal”.
She clarified that no age group is invisible nor immune from the coronavirus.
“With the increase in the cumulative cases, we shall see more cases among all ages,” she said.
Citing data from the DOH, Vergeire said the group with the highest number of cases are aged 20 to 49 years old, not due to an alleged new strain targeting them but “because they are usually the ones going out of their houses to go to work and to do errands.”
“Despite this increase in cumulative cases, we still see that mortalities are prevalent among the older age groups and those with co-morbidities,” she said.
Meanwhile, she advised the public not to “fully” rely on anecdotal information about Covid-19.
“While they may be true, they are only experiences and observation of a handful of people and not a representative of the Philippines. We remind the public to always use evidence-based and science-based information,” she said. (PNA)