‘Too early to declare community transmission of Covid variant in PH’
MANILA, Philippines — There is not enough evidence so far of a local transmission of the Covid-19 variant, health authorities pointed out Saturday.
During an online press briefing, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) director Dr. Celia Carlos cited the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition for establishing community transmission.
“First, large number of cases which are not linkable through transmission chains, number two, large number of cases from sentinel sides if there is an existing surveillance. And number three, multiple unrelated clusters in several areas of the country,” she said.
“So considering that investigation is ongoing, it may be premature for us now to determine whether there is ongoing community transmission. We need to wait for the results of the investigation,” she added.
This comes a day after the DOH announced that it detected 16 new Covid-19 patients were found to be carriers of the new variant, known as B117.
This variant is said to be 70 percent more infectious.
Of the 16 new cases, 12 of them were detected in the municipality of Bontoc, Mountain Province.
Dr. Edsel Salvana from the DOH-Technical Advisory Group, likewise echoed Carlos’ statement, adding that there is currently no evidence of community transmission of the Covid-19 variant.
“Right now, there’s no evidence of that, dahil meron po tayong isang cluster lang na alam po nating magkaka-related sila,” he said. “And then we have to find where that person, siguro kung ano yung common source nun.”
(Right now there’s no evidence of that, because we have a cluster that we know it’s all related. And we have to find the person, the common source.)
“So right now there’s no evidence of community transmission but it doesn’t mean that it’s not there, we will continue to look,” he added.
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