MANILA – Health Sec. Francisco Duque III that the detected mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Central Visayas will not affect the possibility of easing quarantine measures in Metro Manila.
“It will not affect it because NCR is (a) different region,” Duque said in a press briefing.
On Thursday, the Department of Health Regional Office 7 reported that two “mutations of concern” were detected in some samples they sent for genome sequencing.
The Philippine Genome Center confirmed that the mutations identified were E484K and N510Y.
Despite this, the secretary clarified that health protocols still need to be followed in conjunction with the easing of quarantine restrictions.
“We have to be really careful as we further relax our quarantine status from GCQ to MGCQ.”
Apart from the policies, local government units also need to make sure that they are able to implement the strategies correctly and aggressively.
Similar to testing, isolation, and treatment in COVID-19 cases.
“We need to scale up even more in the light of these variants our PDTIR strategies, so massive promotion to let the public comply more effectively and faithfully.”
This week, the report came out that the majority of the mayor of Metro Manila is in favor of putting the region in MGCQ (modified general community quarantine) by March.
Under MGCQ, the public will have greater access to establishments and services
There are more than 555,000 cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, according to the last case bulletin of the DOH.