COVID-19 Brazilian variant in QC? Belmonte says so, but DOH clarifies | Inquirer News

COVID-19 Brazilian variant in QC? Belmonte says so, but DOH clarifies

By: - Reporter / @KHallareINQ
/ 02:29 PM March 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday insisted that there is no emergence yet of the P.1 COVID-19 variant that originated from Brazil (Brazil variant), after Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte reported that her city has one such case.

In a virtual press conference, Belmonte said that her city has 18 cases of COVID-19 variants: 13 of which were of B.1.1.7 variant from the United Kingdom (UK variant), four of the B.1.351 variant from South Africa (South African variant), and one “Brazilian variant.”

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But in a text message to INQUIRER.net, DOH spokesperson and Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the Philippines has no case of the Brazilian variant so far.

“Wala pa po tayo Brazilian variant (We don’t have a Brazilian variant), the Brazilian lineage must have been interpreted as a Brazilian variant,” Vergeire said.

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The Brazilian lineage Vergeire was referring to is the B.1.1.28 lineage, which the DOH said is different from the P.1 Brazilian variant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defined P.1 variant as what is now known as the Brazilian variant, to be a branch off the B.1.1.28 lineage that was first reported by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) in Japan in four travelers from Brazil, sampled during routine screening at Haneda airport outside Tokyo.

The P.1 lineage contains three mutations in the spike receptor binding domain, which suggests that some of the mutations in the P.1 variant may affect its transmissibility and antigenic profile, and which may affect the ability of antibodies generated through a previous natural infection or through vaccination to recognize and neutralize the virus.

As of March 9, the Philippines has 600,428 COVID-19 cases, with 546,078 recoveries and 12,528 deaths.

Meanwhile, the DOH has tallied 58 cases of the South African variant, and 118 cases of the UK variant in the Philippines.

EDV

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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, Department of Health, DoH, Joy Belmonte, Maria Rosario Vergeire, Quezon City
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