Rise in Metro Manila's COVID-19 cases may be due to coronavirus variants: OCTA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 03 2021 08:51 AM

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MANILA - The continued rise of Metro Manila's COVID-19 cases might be due to the UK and South African coronavirus variants, the OCTA Research Group said Wednesday.

The Philippines has detected its first six cases of the more transmissible South Africa COVID-19 variant in 3 local cases in Pasay City, 2 returning Filipino migrant workers from Qatar and United Arab Emirates, the health department said. The agency added it was still verifying the location of the remaining patient.

"Pinapalagay namin ang nagdadrive d'yan UK or South African variant...Kulang pa ang ebidensiya natin kasi kaunti pa lang ang genome sequencing sa area na 'yan," Dr. Guido David told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(We think what drives the increase is the UK or the South African variant...We still lack evidence because we have only conducted few genome sequencing in that area.)

The country must implement strict border control to prevent further virus spread, he added.

The country is expected to reach 665,000 total cases and 14,000 total deaths if the Philippines is unable to curb the spread of the disease, the group warned on Monday.