Indian COVID Variant Entered the Philippines – Latest News!
The Philippines’ health ministry announced on Tuesday that it had discovered the first two cases of a coronavirus variant first found in India. Alethea De Guzman, director of the ministry’s epidemiology bureau, said the variant had been verified in two Filipino seafarers who returned in April from the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
The Philippines has temporarily banned travelers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh from entering the country in order to prevent the entry of variants.
“We need to continually monitor what other variants we may be able to detect locally, as well as monitor the spread of the variants we have already detected,” De Guzman explained, adding that the seafarers were isolated upon their return, and they had both recovered.
One of the ROFs (Returning Overseas Filipino) is a 37-year-old sea-based OFW residing in Soccsksargen. On April 10, he arrived in the Philippines from Oman and was tested on April 15. He was isolated in Metro Manila and recovered on April 26. On May 3, his repeated RT-PCR Test was finally negative. Second, is a 58-year-old sea-based OFW currently in Bicol Region. On April 29, he arrived in our country and tested on April 24. He was isolated and monitored in Clark and recovered on May 6.
This month, the B1617 coronavirus variant was identified in Indonesia and Malaysia for the first time. In addition to a homegrown P3 variant, our country has previously recorded cases of a variant first found in Britain and another first discovered in South Africa. The Philippines, after Indonesia, has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia, with 1.1 million infections and 18,562 deaths.
Indian COVID variant or coronavirus strain known as B.1.617 has been identified as a variant of global concern by the World Health Organization, with preliminary research indicating that it spreads more easily.
This new variant is more concerning and according to Yada et al.(2021), their studies show the comparison of the B.1.617 than the B.1 variant.
The original Coronavirus-19 is more deadly that weakens the immune system of the infected individual. The B.1.617 on the other hand, also causes infected people to suffer the same symptoms but not as heavy as the original variant, what makes this new variant worrisome is that due to its mutation, it developed in a way that it can infect more people than the original virus.
The B.1.617 Variant of Covid-19 is said to be more infectious. This new variant from India have already reached the Philippines.
Authors: Jekka Ko & Charlene Castelo