Amid report of hybrid coronavirus variant, DOH urges strict compliance with health protocols

Amid report of hybrid coronavirus variant, DOH urges strict compliance with health protocols
A safety seal sign is on display at business establishments in a mall in Mandaluyong City on May 27, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — Amid a report of a hybrid coronavirus variant detected in Vietnam, the Department of Health urged the public to continue adhering to health protocols as it awaits guidance from the World Health Organization.

In a virtual briefing on Monday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that when countries report the detection of new variants, data will be sent to the World Health Organization that will give guidance to its member-countries for its management.

Vietnam last weekend said it discovered a new COVID-19 variant that spreads quickly by air and is a combination of the variants first detected in India and in the United Kingdom.

Vergeire noted that WHO said it has not yet received the full details on the emergence of this new coronavirus variant. “They said they will for them to verify, study carefully so guidelines may be given to member-countries,” she added inT Filipino.

The DOH official also said the public should not panic with the report of an apparent new hybrid coronavirus variant.

“For now, we still do not have sufficient evidence for this. We just need to strictly enforce minimum health protocols. We need to always remember, whatever variants that there may be here in our country, if we strictly enforce our health protocols and we get vaccinated, we are protected,” she added.

Last weekend, the DOH reported it detected 242 new cases of various coronavirus in the country.

Of these, 137 are of the variant first identified in South Africa (B.1.351), while 104 are new cases of the variant first identified in the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7), and one is a new case of the variant first identified in India (B.1.617).

Health authorities on Sunday logged 7,058 new infections, bringing the national tally to 1,223,627. Of these, 53,757 are deemed active cases. — Kristine Joy Patag with reports from Xave Gregorio, Agence France Presse

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