DOH: Delta subvariant not yet detected in PHL


The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday said the Delta AY.4.2 Covid subvariant has not been detected in the country yet.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire also assured the public that biosurveillance activities in the country have been closely monitoring 46 sublineages of the Delta variant following the reports on the increase of sublinage AY.4.2 in the United Kingdom (UK) and its detection in other countries outside the UK.

“As of this moment, experts are still studying the potential impact of the Delta sublineage on the transmissibility and severity of Covid-19,” Vergeire said adding that the particular Delta sublineage has not yet been detected among the Covid-19 positive samples sequenced in the country.

While this is being investigated, Vergeire said that the DOH emphasized that “regardless of the variant, all Covid-19 cases should be managed similarly and as per current protocols.”

“Each case must be immediately isolated and contact traced upon detection. Current evidence also showed that the presence or absence of a variant of interest or concern among cases do not dictate the appropriate clinical management. We should always remain vigilant against Covid-19, moreso that we are safely reopening our economy,” Vergeire said.

The DOH reminded the public that, while variants may contribute to increase or aggravate Covid-19 cases, strict and proper adherence to the minimum public health standards reduces the risk of getting exposed to Covid-19.

The DOH added that mutations occur as part of the natural process of virus evolution.

“Our proper adherence to the minimum public health standards is still our best protection and is the best way to curb the transmission, prevent the spread of the variants and slow down the appearance of mutations. Proper wearing of face mask and face shield, frequent hand washing or sanitizing, avoiding crowded places and observing physical distancing, and ensuring there is proper ventilation in our homes, workplaces, and public transportation are non-pharmaceutical interventions that all of us can do to ensure that we and everyone around us are safe,” the DOH official said.

Moreover, the general adult population should immediately get vaccinated to get additional protection against Covid-19.

‘Getting fully-vaccinated is also another layer of protection that can help us from getting severe COVID-19,” Vergeire concluded.

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