The new strain of COVID-19 was first detected in the United Kingdom later this month. the new variant has a series of mutations according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
An epidemiologist from the World Health Organization said, “We are hearing that it could spread up to 70% faster.” As of now, there is no evidence that this variant causes more severe illness or increased risk of death. But it could lead to more infections, which in turn might lead to more hospitalizations and deaths.
The strain has also been detected in countries such as Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, and Australia. Likewise, a similar but separate variant has been identified in South Africa.
People under 60 years old are getting infected the most with this new variant which is much problematic for cases at this age are usually asymptomatic. They can spread the virus without showing any symptoms at all.
Amidst the health threat, President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Monday that Metro Manila and nine other areas in the country will remain under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) status until January 31, 2021. The provinces of Batangas, Isabela, Lanao del Sur, Davao del Norte, and cities of Santiago, Iloilo, Tacloban, Iligan, and Davao will also remain under GCQ until the end of January while the rest of the country will remain under the least restrictive modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).