No need to panic over hybrid virus variant in Vietnam: DOH

Raphael Bosano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 31 2021 03:04 PM

MANILA – Filipinos need not panic over news of a hybrid coronavirus variant reported in Vietnam, the Department of Health said Monday. 

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the World Health Organization has not yet received details of the apparent variant. The organization keeps track of a list of variants detected in different countries. 

“Ang proseso pag tayo ay nakakadetect na additional mutations o bagong variant sa isang bansa, sinu-submit ito sa WHO. Dahil ang WHO ang nagmamanage nitong, it’s a system where you classify the variants of concern para lahat ng bansa alam 'yan at nakapag-iingat,” she said in an online forum.

Vietnam has discovered a new COVID-19 variant, which spreads quickly by air and is a combination of the Indian and British strains, state media reported Saturday.

The country is struggling to deal with fresh outbreaks across more than half of its territory, including industrial zones and big cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

More than 6,700 cases including 47 deaths have been reported in Vietnam -- the lion's share have occurred since April. Vietnam -- a country of 97 million people -- has vaccinated a little over a million citizens.

"For now we still don’t have sufficient evidence for this. Hindi natin kailangan magpanic. Paigtingin lang ang pagpapatupad ng health protocols and we will be protected from any of these variants,” Vergeire said. 

The DOH has repeatedly reminded the public that no matter what variant may become dominant or pervasive in the country, the manner of transmission and avoiding infection remains the same. 

This is why individuals are constantly reminded to follow minimum public health protocols, while local governments are encouraged to strengthen the implementation of measure to stop the spread of the virus. With Agence France-Presse

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