As the Philippines detects its first Covid-19 Lambda variant, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go reiterated the need to focus on overcoming the pandemic and not politics, “Let us first overcome the crisis brought by the pandemic.”
The Department of Health announced yesterday that the first to be infected by the variant is a 35-year-old woman, and it is checking if she is a local person or a returning overseas Filipino (ROF).
The Lambda variant is classified as a variant of interest (VOI) by the World Health Organization, not a variant of concern (VOC)
However, because the Lambda variant is relatively resistant to the vaccine-induced antisera, it might be possible that this variant is feasible to cause breakthrough infection among those vaccinated as ”vaccine-induced antisera” refers to the antibodies that arise from vaccination.
Nonethless, Lambda is highly transmissible like the Delta variant.
No to politics
Senator Go said despite the recent endorsement of PDP-Laban (Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan) members for his candidacy for the presidency, for him time has not yet come for politics and leaders must not lose focus on serving the country and helping the people overcome this crisis.
“As I have said before, and I say it now again: I leave my fate to God, the Dutertes – whatever decision they would make when it comes to politics – and to the Filipino people, to whom I owe this privilege of serving you and without whom I would not be where I am now,” he added.
“But as chair of the Senate Committee on Health, I am concentrated right now on helping our government in addressing the pandemic, saving lives and leading our people towards returning to normalcy as soon as possible.
“Vaccine first before politics,” Go said.
The DoH also reported more cases of the Delta, Alpha, Beta and P.3 variants.
It said there were 182 new Delta cases, bringing the total to 807. Of the number, 112 are local cases, 36 are ROF and 34 are still being verified.
Forty-two of the local cases listed addresses in the National Capital Region, 36 in Central Luzon, eight in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon), six each in Mimaropa and Northern Mindanao, four in Central Visayas, three each in the Davao Region and Caraga, two in Western Visayas and one each in the Cordillera Administrative Region and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
There were 41 new Alpha cases, bringing the total to 2,232. Beta cases climbed to 2,483 after 66 new cases were identified and 40 more cases were added to the P.3 variant list.
Aside from going around the country listening and responding to the pleas of Filipinos in need, Go also continues to encourage the public to get inoculated in accordance with vaccination guidelines.
“Raising public confidence in the vaccines are crucial to protect the population and attain herd immunity soon,” the senator said.
Data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed that out of the over 11.7 million Filipinos vaccinated at the time of the study with at least their first dose, only 735 were infected with and only 65 died from Covid-19.
As of August 1, according to FDA, out of those who were fully vaccinated, there were only 116 breakthrough infections. This represents only 0.0013 percent of the total fully vaccinated individuals then.
As of August 14, 27.55 million doses of the vaccines were already administered. Out of these, 15.09 million individuals got their first dose while 12.46 million completed their two doses.
He added, “As I have said before: We must leave no one behind. We have to be faithful to our duty to help those in need, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. This is why even as election talks continue to heat up as the days go by, I remain focused on helping communities affected by this health crisis and other unforeseen incidents.” SOVEREIGNPH/AQP