WHO:Delta subvariant of COVID-19 not yet a ‘variant of concern’ in PH
MANILA, Philippines — The Delta subvariant of COVID-19 is not yet classified as a variant of concern in the Philippines, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday while still urging the public to observe public health standards.
WHO representative to the Philippines Rabindra Abeyasinghe echoed the Department of Health that there are no recorded cases of the Delta subvariant—designated as AY.4.2 in the United Kingdom—in the country.
Nonetheless, Abeyasinghe said they are closely coordinating with countries that have already confirmed its presence.
“We are looking very closely at this. Right now this is not classified as a variant of interest or variant of concern. The WHO continues to monitor the spread of this particular variant that has been detected,” Abeyasinghe said during the Laging Canda briefing.
“We want to understand that they process a particular risk more than the Delta variant in terms of transmissibility, in terms of the disease it causes, and its response to vaccines,” he added.
The subvariant was first detected in the United Kingdom, although it has not been labeled as “under investigation” or a “variant of concern.”
Oxford Vaccine Group chief Andrew Pollard said that despite the discovery of the subvariant, it is not likely to change the COVID-19 picture.
“With more evidence, we will share that with the Philippines and other countries. I also want to add that the Philippines is also monitoring variants, and this particular variant has not yet been confirmed in the Philippines,” Abeyasinghe said.
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