SARS-CoV2 mutations in Cebu? Call it variant of concern, not PH variant, for now — DOH | Inquirer News
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SARS-CoV2 mutations in Cebu? Call it variant of concern, not PH variant, for now — DOH

/ 08:39 AM February 19, 2021
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This undated transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, also known as novel coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S. NIAID-RML/Handout via REUTERS.

MANILA, Philippines — The two unknown mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 detected in Cebu should be referred to as “variant of concern” instead of “PH COVID-19 variant”, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday. 

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of DOH in Central Visayas (DOH-7), made the remark after the discovery of the presence of two mutations of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, from at least 37 samples taken from Covid-19 patients.

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“I would like to correct it. Hindi naman talaga ito maituturing na atin pa. Masasabi ko, ang pangalan muna natin sa kanya sa ngayon ay ‘variant of concern’ or ‘mutation of concern’,” Loreche said in an interview on ABS-CBN Teleradyo when asked if the new mutations can be referred to as “Philippine COVID-19 variant.”

(I would like to correct it. We cannot say right now that this is a Philippine variant. For now, let’s call it a variant of concern or mutation of concern.)

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“Mayroon tayong ganyan ngayon dito base sa pagsusuri ng Philippine Genome Center pero hindi pa ito kumbaga, yan na talaga. Initial findings lang nila yan,” she added. 

(We have that right now based on the tests of Philippine Genome Center but these are just initial findings.)

Loreche said that one of the 37 patients with the unknown mutations was asymptomatic while others experienced symptoms such as fever and cough. 

On Thursday, Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH-7 director, said in a press conference that the discovery of the unknown mutations is only an initial result of their ongoing bio-surveillance.

Bernadas said they still needed further surveillance, epidemiological investigations, and do an entire genomic sequencing to properly establish the nature of the mutated viruses and give them a more appropriate name. 

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TAGS: Cebu, COVID-19, Mutation
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