COVID-19 variants could be causing recent surge of COVID-19 cases — IATF expert | Inquirer News
Close  

COVID-19 variants could be causing recent surge of COVID-19 cases — IATF expert

/ 04:12 PM March 05, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A health expert being consulted by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on Friday said that the coronavirus disease variants could be causing the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.

The Department of Health announced earlier the detection of 52 new cases of the B.1.351 COVID-19 variant from South Africa (South Africa variant) and 31 additional cases of B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19 from the United Kingdom (UK variant) in the country.

ADVERTISEMENT

While there is indirect link between the variants and the drastic spike of COVID-19 cases, Dr. John Wong, a member of the IATF technical working group on data analytics said this development is still concerning as “there could be more than that (number of cases).”

“One evidence that the variant could be causing this surge is, we detected the variant just before cases start to rise. So there’s some indirect evidence that the variants are causing this surge. We should encourage the public to take precautions,” Wong said in a press briefing.

FEATURED STORIES

“The number of cases found is only because we’re still collecting samples for surveillance testing so as we collect more samples, we’ll be able to see more,” Wong added. “The number of cases you see now should not be seen as sort of the maximum number of people or patients who have the variant. There could be more than that.”

On Friday, the DOH reported 3,045 new cases — the highest for this year — bringing the total active cases in the country to 40,074.

The spike of cases came as the government started its rollout of its coronavirus program, with the arrival of the 600,000 doses of China-donated vaccine from Sinovac Biotech last Sunday.

On Thursday, the Philippines received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines developed by British-Swede drugmaker AstraZeneca that were sent by the COVAX Facility.

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.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Coronavirus Variants, COVID-19, Dr. John Wong, IATF
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.