MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday allayed public concerns over the reported hybrid coronavirus variants said to have been detected in Vietnam.
In an online press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there is no need to panic over the news, adding that the World Health Organization (WHO) has not yet received full details of the apparent coronavirus variant.
The WHO monitors and keeps track of the COVID-19 variants reported in different countries.
“Ang proseso po kapag tayo ay nakaka-detect ng additional mutations o bagong variant kung sakali sa isang bansa, isinusumite po ito sa WHO dahil ang WHO po ang nagma-manage nitong GSAID na tinatawag na network. It’s a system where you classify the variants of concern para lahat ng bansa alam ‘yan at nakapag-iingat,” she said.
Media reports stated that Vietnam has discovered a new COVID-19 variant, which is said to spread quickly by air and is a combination of strains first found in India and the United Kingdom.
Vergeire said the WHO is still verifying such report.
“Nagbigay rin ng pahayag ang WHO over the weekend at ang sabi nila, they have not received the full details of this apparent variant na tinatawag sa Vietnam at aantayin daw po nila na makapag-verify sila at makapag-aral ng mabuti para makapagbigay ng guidance para sa mga member countries ng WHO,” she said.
“For now, we still do not have sufficient evidence for this,” she added.
The DOH reminded the public to continue adhering to health protocols as this will help them avoid transmission regardless of the variant.
“Kailangan natin laging tandaan: whatever variants that there maybe dito po sa ating bansa, kung tayo po ay strictly nagpapatupad ng health protocols natin at tayo po ay nagpabakuna, tayo po ay protektado,” she said.
“Alalahanin po natin yan, hindi po natin kailangang mag-panic dahil po sa balitang ito. Paigtingin lang po natin ang pagpapatupad ng ating health protocols and we will be protected from any of these variants,” she added.