Omicron ‘most evolved variant of SARS-CoV-2‘ — PH Genome Center exec
MANILA, Philippines — Omicron is the most evolved variant of SARS-CoV-2, Philippine Genome Center Executive Director Dr. Cynthia Saloma said on Tuesday.
SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.
“You know, ang virus is always mutating and is always evolving,” Saloma said during the Laging Handa briefing.
“So far now, the most evolved variant of SARS-CoV-2 that we have is this Omicron variant with so many mutations,” she continued.
Omicron has 50 mutations, according to Tulio de Oliveira, virologist at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Network for Genomics Surveillance in South Africa.
Meanwhile, the IHU variant, first discovered in France and has 46 mutations, is not spreading so much, Saloma noted.
“Of course, we cannot actually be certain na hindi siya pupunta sa atin (that it will not enter the country) but so far in the indications are that IHU variant seems to be localized in France and in fact, even in France it’s not really expanding so much,” she explained.
Saloma said that the government should strengthen border controls and urged the public to get vaccinated to prevent further COVID-19 transmission.
“Pa’no natin ma-secure na hindi ito mapunta sa atin (How can we secure that we will not get the virus)? As much as possible, of course, strengthen our border controls and at the same time, individually and collectively, very very important po na magpa-vaccine tayo at saka protected tayo (that we get vaccinated and protected) against all these variants,” she said.
The Department of Health on Monday said that there is no detected IHU variant in the country.
On the other hand, the Philippines has 43 Omicron COVID-19 cases.
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