No UK variant of new coronavirus in PH yet – DOH | Inquirer News
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No UK variant of new coronavirus in PH yet – DOH

/ 05:36 AM January 03, 2021

NASAL SWAB A health worker performs a swab test. —GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — There is no confirmed case yet of the new variant of the new coronavirus in the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Saturday.

But the DOH said the genome sequencing of COVID-positive samples from patients who came from countries with confirmed cases of the new variant will only begin on Jan. 4.

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“This is to clarify that as of Jan. 2, 2021, the Philippine Genome Center has not detected the UK variant in the country. All RT-PCR positive specimens from the countries with confirmed UK variant are to undergo genome sequencing beginning Monday, Jan. 4, 2021,” the DOH said in a statement.

The health department issued the statement following the hypothesis of the Octa Research Group that the new virus strain could already be in the Philippines, after Singapore confirmed that they have detected it in a patient.

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Octa is an independent group that analyzes pandemic data and releases its own forecasts.

Several countries in Southeast Asia have confirmed that the new variant, thought to be more infectious, has reached their shores.

Taiwan detected the coronavirus variant in late December, while Vietnam confirmed its first case of the variant on Saturday. (See story on page A9.)

The DOH on Saturday reported 1,097 new COVID-19 cases in the country, bringing up the total case count to 476,916.

The DOH, however, said the number was unusually low due to the “temporary unavailability” of the agency’s COVID-19 Document Repository System on Friday which led to the failure of 15 laboratories to submit results.

But the DOH said the issue had since been resolved.

The DOH also reported five new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 9,253. Meanwhile, 47 new recoveries were logged, raising the total survivors to 439,942.

Of the total cases, 27,721 remain active.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, new coronavirus variant
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