MANILA — The Philippines has not yet detected the presence of a subvariant of the highly infectious Delta COVID-19 variant, the Department of Health said on Thursday.
While under monitoring, the AY.4.2 subvariant has not yet been classified as a variant of concern or interest, noted DOH Epidemiology Bureau chief Dr. Alethea De Guzman.
"Mayroon po siyang tinatawag nating mutations na kahawig ng Delta, at tulad ng Delta ay may potential na maging highly transmissible," she said in a televised public briefing.
"Locally, ito ay kasama sa mga binabantayan natin. At sa ngayon, ito ay hindi pa natin nadi-detect in any of the samples that we are sequencing," added the health official.
(It has so-called mutations similar to the Delta variant. And like Delta, it has a potential to be highly transmissible. Locally, this is included in our monitoring. And for now, we have not yet detected it in any of the samples that we are sequencing.)
Delta remains the locally detected variant and makes up about 97 percent of sequenced samples collected this October, De Guzman said.
"Subalit nakakakita pa rin tayo ng Alpha and Beta variants. Ano po iyong gusto nating iparating sa datos na ito? Ang variants of concern ay andito," she said.
(However, we are still seeing Alpha and Beta variants. What do we want to relay with these data? The variants of concern are here.)
"They are highly transmissible. That means it is very important for us to be very adherent to the practice of masking and other MPHS (minimum public health standards)."
The Philippines has recorded some 2.7 million overall coronavirus cases and at least 42,077 deaths.
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At least 26.4 million of the country's 110 million people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.