There is no new strain of coronavirus in the country based on the latest report of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), a health official said Monday.
“According to RITM, they have not seen a new strain in our country) based on their monitoring,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said partly in Filipino during an online media forum.
Vergeire was responding to speculations that the “mutation” of a coronavirus disease 2019 virus, which caused the second wave of cases in the United Kingdom (UK), is similar to the variant the Philippine Genome Center has detected in August.
“But of course we will be furthering this monitoring as there might be a need for stricter monitoring to identify anything like that in the country,” she said partly in Filipino.
Based on preliminary data, the variant detected in the UK could be up to 70 percent more infectious and has become a prevalent strain in its capital.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said it is analyzing Britain’s data to see if the increase of infections there is the result of a more potent strain.
Vergeire noted that the UK has already imposed travel restrictions on its borders.
“So, the restriction, I don’t think that would be required at this point, although, of course, we are strengthening our measures to prevent the entrance of infection here that’s why the monitoring of ports with the testing with the quarantine of all those coming in are being implemented,” she added. SOVEREIGNPH