MANILA - The COVID-19 variant reported in the United Kingdom may not necessarily be more deadly, the Department of Health said Tuesday.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was referring to an article which contained "preliminary finding" when he said there was some evidence the variant they had was more deadly, said DOH Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire.
Vergeire said Johnson may have deduced this from the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths reported there.
"When we have increase in the number of cases, we therefore expect that there will also be an increase in the number of deaths because of the increasing burden in the health system and there might be vulnerable sectors who are affected, which can develop severe disease and can eventually die," she told ANC's Headstart.
"It is just a course of this infection when there are increasing numbers," she said.
Those infected with the UK variant experience the same symptoms as those infected with the variant previously known, she said. The mode of transmission and even treatment required to nurse them back to health are the same, she added.
Experts maintain that the UK variant is more transmissible, she said.
"The mode of transmission is the same, the presenting signs and symptoms are the same. What we need to do is strengthen our strategies in the implementation of health protocols, especially isolation, quarantine, and testing so that we can prevent the spread of these different variants," she said.
The Philippines currently detected 17 individuals with the UK COVID-19 variant, with 12 of them reported in Bontoc, Mountain Province, according to Vergeire.
The country in total has 514,996 COVID-19 cases, with 10,292 fatalities and 475,422 recoveries, as of Monday.