Iloilo health officials call for vigilance amid FLiRT-Covid

Iloilo health officials call for vigilance amid FLiRT-Covid
AP File Photo

LOCAL health officials in Iloilo City have called on the public to be vigilant following the detection of a new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) “FLiRT” subvariants and always observe health standards.

Iloilo Provincial Health Office (IPHO) head Maria Quiñon said that while symptoms are mild, they should not be taken for granted because of the long-term complications that might happen, especially to children once infected.

“We should observe cough and sneeze etiquette, wear masks, and practice frequent hand washing with soap and water. Avoid crowded and poorly ventilated places, especially for the immunocompromised, senior citizens, and unvaccinated,” she said in a media interview on Wednesday.

The province has a negative growth rate, citing the May 20 weekly cases report of the Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development.

She said from Jan. 1 to May 20, Iloilo province recorded 295 cases, with four new cases during the last three to four weeks and three cases in the first to two weeks.

“So there is a negative 25 percent growth rate. Our average daily attack rate is .01 percent,” she said.

In this city, health facilities are directed to intensify their infection and prevention control measures to limit local transmission among healthcare workers and ensure hospitals are prepared for potential surges in cases by increasing intensive care unit (ICU) capacity, ventilators, and other necessary medical supplies.

“We are closely monitoring the cases because of the spike of Covid-19 infections in other countries like Singapore because of the FLiRT variant, named after the technical names for their mutation, which are derived from spike proteins of mutation,” said Asst. City Health Officer Dr. Roland Jay Fortuna in a statement on Wednesday.

He noted that based on studies, the new subvariant is highly transmissible and although records say the manifestation of the virus is not severe with the same symptoms, one can still get infected despite being vaccinated.

The city has recorded 98 cases from Jan. 1 to May 27.

Based on case surveillance, the city has a moderate risk classification due to a two-week growth rate of 325 percent with 17 cases during the previous two weeks, up from the previous rate of only 33 percent with four cases in the last three to four weeks.

In addition to observing health standards, the city health office reminded those with flu-like symptoms to seek an early consultation and stay home to prevent the virus from spreading. (PNA)

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