THE Department of Health (DOH) yesterday confirmed the detection of COVID-19 mutations of potential clinical significance in samples from Central Visayas.
Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said the mutations were detected through enhanced genomic biosurveillance conducted by the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC).
Duque, however, stressed that current available data are insufficient to conclude that the mutations found in the local samples will have significant public health implications, adding that further study is needed.
He explained that viruses naturally undergo mutations as they reproduce, both within the human body and when they are transmitted from one person to another. These mutations accumulate over time and may have varying effects.
“However, not all mutations and variants necessarily cause negative effects. Variants, on the other hand, pertain to a group of viruses which have the same set of mutations. Those classified as variants of concern have reported clinical significance, such as the increased transmissibility of the B.1.1.7 variant,” the health chief added.
Nevervtheless, Duque said the DOH recognizes the potential public health implications of these reported mutations in samples from Region 7 and assured that the Center for Health Development in Central Visayas has initiated measures to contain the transmission in the region and investigation to characterize the cases and areas of concern.Publication Source : People's Tonight