The Department of Health (DOH) declared anew on Wednesday that the new variant of the coronvirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is not yet in the Philippines.
This despite reports from Hong Kong authorities that a Filipino who came from Manila who flew there was detected to be infected with the new Covid-19 variant, which is more infectious.
The DOH said made the statement based on results of the study of the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) that conducted a genome sequencing on samples of passengers from countries with reported cases of the new variant, as well as samples from Covid-19 patients in the Philippines in November and December.
“Based on the lineage analysis through whole-genome sequencing done by the PGC, the UK variant was not detected in any of the 305 positive samples submitted to them from 9 institutions,” DOH said.
“The 305 samples analyzed by PGC were composed of positive samples from November-December hospital admissions and from inbound travelers who tested positive upon arrival at the airport,” it added.
As for the Filipino detected to be infected with the new Covid-19 variant in Hong Kong, the DOH said it is in close coordination with Hong Kong’s International Health Regulations to gather more information on the case. SOVEREIGNPH