WHO concerned about spread of COVID-19 variants in parts of PH

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Concern over the spread of the more contagious coronavirus variants in some areas in the Philippines was raised by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday. WHO added that evidence points to “transmission within communities” in some parts.

WHO Philippines representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe claimed health officials are “particularly concerned” about the presence of the B.1.351 and the B.1.1.7 variants, which were first detected in South Africa and in the United Kingdom, respectively.

“We do know that there are circulating in the NCR (National Capital Region), and in some regions outside of the NCR bubble,” said Abeyasinghe.

“So we are concerned about the circulation of variants. We have seen evidence over the weeks of increasing numbers of confirmed variants within the NCR,” he added. “And this points to transmission within communities of these variants.”

Aside from the two variants, the Philippines had also detected cases of the P.1 variant first discovered in Brazil, and the P.3 variant which originated in the country but is not yet classified as a variant of concern.

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