DOH: No new virus strain detected in Philippines

DOH: No new virus strain detected in Philippines
This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (orange)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (green) cultured in the lab. Image captured and colorized at NIAID's Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Montana.

MANILA, Philippines — There is no new strain of coronavirus in the Philippines, the Department of Health said Monday.

This, after the United Kingdom confirmed that a new fast-spreading variant of coronavirus has appeared in Britain, prompting heightened restrictions and travel bans.  

“According to the RITM, right now, they have not seen a new strain in the country based on their monitoring,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing.

“But of course, we will be furthering this monitoring. We might need to strengthen our measures in the event there is a new strain in the country. But right now, there is none,” she added.

Initial data suggest the new coronavirus strain could be “up to 70% more transmissible,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said as he ordered new restrictions for London and southeastern England until December 30.

The announcement prompted several nations to ban flights and trains arriving to and from UK.

Vergeire said there is no need to enforce stricter travel restrictions for now.

“Although of course, we’re strengthening our measures to prevent the infection from reaching the country,” she said, referring to testing at ports of entry and quarantine of travelers.

Filipinos have been advised to remain vigilant and continue observing health protocols as the country braces for a surge in COVID-19 cases during the holiday season.

Total COVID-19 infections in the Philippines reached 459,789 Sunday. Of the figure, 21,708 are active cases. — Gaea Katreena Cabico with report from Agence France-Presse


As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 20, 2021 - 4:10pm

Other regions and provinces in the Philippines considered moderate and low-risk areas will be placed under general community quarantine starting May 1. Bookmark this page for updates. (Main image by The STAR/Edd Gumban)

November 20, 2021 - 4:10pm

The health department registers 1,474 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the national caseload to 2,824,499. 

  • New deaths: 205
  • New recoveries: 2,565
  • Total active cases: 22,070
November 19, 2021 - 4:05pm

The Department of Health reports an additional 1,485 COVID-19 infections, bringing the national tally to to 2,823,210.

  • New deaths: 277
  • New recoveries: 1,393
  • Total active cases: 23,200
November 18, 2021 - 4:26pm

The Department of Health registers 1,297 new COVID-19 cases, biringing the national caseload to 2,821,753.

  • New deaths: 305
  • New recoveries: 1,956
  • Total active cases: 23,158
November 10, 2021 - 4:07pm

The Department of Health registers 2,646 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the national tally to 2,809,311.

  • Active cases: 29,138 or 1.0% of the total
  • Deaths: 99, pushing the count to 44,665
  • Recoveries: 4,029 bringing the number to 2,735,508
November 9, 2021 - 4:11pm

The Department of Health logs 1,409 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the national tally to 2,806,694.

  • Active cases: 30,544 or 1.1% of the total
  • Deaths: 46, pushing the count to 44,567
  • Recoveries: 2,941 bringing the number to 2,731,583
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