Saturday, December 04, 2021

No Delta AY.4.2 sublineage in Philippines yet

USA. This undated electron microscope image made available by the US National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus (yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink) cultured in the lab. (AP)

THE Department of Health (DOH) announced Thursday, October 21, that the AY.4.2 sublineage of the Delta variant of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), has not been detected in the country yet.

The announcement came following reports on the detection of AY.4.2 sublineage in the United Kingdom and other countries.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire said the government has been closely monitoring the 46 sublineages of the Delta variant through its biosurveillance activities.

“As of this moment, experts are still studying the potential impact of the Delta sublineage on the transmissibility and severity of Covid-19. The particular Delta sublineage has not yet been detected among the Covid-19 positive samples sequenced in the country,” she assured.

But she said that while investigation is ongoing, “we emphasize that regardless of the variant, all Covid-19 cases should be managed similarly and as per current protocols.”

“Each case must be immediately isolated and contact traced upon detection. Current evidence also showed that the presence or absence of a variant of interest of concern among cases do not dictate the appropriate clinical management. We should always remain vigilant against Covid-19, moreso that we are safely reopening our economy,” Vergeire added.

The DOH said mutations occur as part of the natural process of virus evolution. It reminded the public that while variants may contribute to increase or aggravate Covid-19 cases, strict and proper adherence to the minimum public health standards reduces the risk of getting exposed to Covid-19.

It appealed to the general adult population -- 18 years old and above -- to get vaccinated as protection against Covid-19.

“Our proper adherence to the minimum public health standards is still our best protection and is the best way to curb the transmission, prevent the spread of the variants and slow down the appearance of mutations,” said Vergeire.

Among the health standards being pushed by the government are proper wearing of face mask and face shield, frequent hand washing or sanitizing, avoiding crowded places and observing physical distancing.

“Getting fully-vaccinated is also another layer of protection that can help us from getting severe Covid-19,” Vergeire added.

As of October 21, the Philippines has recorded a total of 2,740,111 Covid-19 cases, with 2,633,039 recoveries and 41,237 deaths. (LMY/With PR)


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