No UK COVID variant detected in PH, says DOH

Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 (Philippine News Agency photo)

CALOOCAN CITY, Jan. 3 (PIA) -- The Department of Health on Saturday clarified that the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) has not detected the COVID-19 variant from the United Kingdom (UK) in the country.

The DOH said strating Monday, Jan. 4, all positive RT-PCR or swab test specimens from countries with cases of the UK COVID-19 variant will undergo genome sequencing.

In an earlier social media post, the PGC said it will continue sequencing and the biosurveillance of positive cases that will be brought directly to them for whole-genome sequencing.

The DOH assured that they closely coordinating with relevant agencies to make sure that stricter measures are being implemented to prevent the entry of the new coronavirus variant.

The new COVID-19 variant first found in the UK is more transmissible than other variants, and affecting a greater proportion of people under 20, according to a collaborative study from scientists and researchers at Imperial College London, the University of Edinburgh, Public Health England, the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the University of Birmingham and the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium.

As of December 30, at least 27 countries, Hong Kong, and Taiwan have so far reported cases of the new strain.

Earlier, the Philippine Government imposed travel restrictions from countries with reported cases of the new coronavirus strain. (PIA NCR)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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