Stricter lockdown due to new COVID-19 variant?

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President Rodrigo Duterte floated the possibility of a stricter lockdown should cases of the new coronavirus strain detected in the United Kingdom skyrocket in the Philippines.

“Actually, yang lockdown is a possibility,” Duterte said during an IATF meeting.

“As should, we are making some projections, but if the severity in numbers would demand that we take corrective measures immediately, then we’ll just have to go back to lockdown.”

During the meeting, Health Secretary Francisco Duque emphasized that the new variant’s transmissibility is higher by 70 percent according to current evidence, meaning it is quicker to spread than previous variants existing the country.

However, he clarified that there’s no indication yet that it causes more severe symptoms nor it affects the efficacy of current COVID-19 vaccines.

No confirmed case in the Philippines caused by the new variant has been reported yet.