No contagious new COVID-19 strain monitored in PH, says DOH

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 21 2020 01:20 PM | Updated as of Dec 21 2020 01:33 PM

Catholic devotees observe health protocols as they attend the first Simbang Gabi (Misa De Gallo) Mass at the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Sto. Niño de Tondo in Manila on December 16, 2020 amid COVID-19 pandemic. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Department of Health on Monday said it has not detected any new strain of the COVID-19 virus in the Philippines.

This, after reports that a contagious new strain of the COVID-19 virus was detected in the United Kingdom, prompting the country and other nations to impose travel bans.

“According to RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine), sa ngayon wala pa silang nakikitang bagong strain na nakikita dito sa ating bansa based on their monitoring,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing.

(According to RITM, for now they have not seen a new strain here in the country based on their monitoring.)

“But of course we will be furthering this monitoring. Baka nga kung sakali kailangan natin mapaigting para kung meron man ganyan dito sa bansa ma-identify natin (We might need to intensify the monitoring so we can identify the strain if it is indeed present here),” she added.

Vergeire said there was no need to impose additional travel restrictions in the country since the Philippines has already limited travel.

She pointed out that only diplomats and those with official businesses in the country are allowed to enter the Philippines. 

“Although of course we are strengthening measures,” the health official said, pointing out the routine testing at the borders and travelers' quarantine.

Video courtesy of the Department of Health

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