Duterte wants new experts-led task force to focus on new COVID variant
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte wants a new government task force to focus on the new coronavirus variant from the United Kingdom, which is feared to be more infectious.
In a meeting Saturday evening with Cabinet officials and infectious disease experts, Duterte said the new task force would be different from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
He added that the new task force should be led by the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Health.
“The government should create another task force, hindi itong atin wala naman tayong alam diyan. Medical. Ideally, it’s the medical persons, na nakatutok lang talaga diyan sa bagong strain whether or not it is here or not,” the President said.
(The government should create another task force… Medical. Ideally, the members should be medical persons, who are really just focused on the new strain whether or not it is here or not.)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously announced stricter restrictions in his country after experts found a more infectious strain of the coronavirus, which, he said, “maybe up to 70 percent more transmissible than the earlier strain.”
Several countries, including the Philippines, have since imposed travel bans on the United Kingdom to prevent the new strain’s entry.
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