Preliminary to say that UK Covid-19 variant more deadly, says expert
MANILA, Philippines — It is preliminary to say that the Covid-19 variant that originated from the United Kingdom is 30 percent more deadly, an expert from the Department of Health (DOH) said Saturday.
“The data from the UK about the potentially increased deadliness of the virus is very preliminary,” Dr. Edsel Salvana from the DOH Technical Advisory Group (DOH-TAG), said during an online press briefing.
“The original data po kasi is wala talagang evidence that it’s deadlier, pero may karagadagang paga-aral na ginawa sila that suggests na baka maybe 30 percent more deadly. So pinaga-aralan pa po ito, hindi pa po siya final, very very preliminary po ang sinabi ng UK,” he added.
(The original data says that there is no evidence it’s deadlier, but there are further studies that show that it is maybe 30 percent more deadly. So we are still studying it, it is not final, the UK’s statement is very, very preliminary.)
It was UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the UK chief government scientist Patrick Vallance who said that the Covid-19 variant, known as B.1.1.7, is 30 to 40 percent more deadly for some age groups. But Vallance stressed that this assessment relied on sparse data.
The UK variant has already reached 60 countries, including the Philippines, where there are now 17 cases.
Salvana, meanwhile, also warned that should a variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus be more transmissible, this means that there would be more COVID-19 cases and that the country’s health care system will be overwhelmed.
“Pwedeng mangyari is pag puno po yung mga ospital, mas maraming mamamatay kasi yung iba, hindi po naaalagaan. So kailangan po talagang pag-aralan yun,” he said.
(It is possible that if hospitals are full, more people will die because some of them will not be cared for. So we need to study this further.)
“But at the same time, it is important to remain cautious dahil kahit naman po yung original virus, nakakamatay lalong-lalo na pag na-overwhelm po yung healthcare system natin,” he added.
(But at the same time, it is important to remain cautious because like the original virus, it is deadly especially if our healthcare system is overwhelmed.)
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