DAVAO CITY – The Davao Oriental Provincial Task Force COVID-19 clarified on Tuesday that the Gamma variant or the P.1 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) variant which was first identified in Brazil has not been detected in any of the samples coming from the province.
Provincial Task Force-Covid-19 Action Officer Dr. Reden Bersaldo said while the provincial government allays the public’s fear from the presence of new COVID-19 variants, the advice to avoid infection remains the same for all strains.
“Although there were variants which have been detected, these are from lineages of non-concern variants as per the guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH) and World Health Organization,” Bersaldo said in a statement.
The DOH-11 also clarified that the reported variants are not identified as a variant of concern because current data are insufficient to determine whether the variant will require more appropriate and specific health action.
Based on the data from the DOH, the variants of concern are the United Kingdom or Alpha variant (B.1.1.7), South Africa or Beta variant (B.1.351), Brazilian or Gamma variant (P.1), and India or Delta variant (B.1.617.2), while the variant of interest is Theta P.3 — all of which are not present in the province of Davao Oriental.
It added that for all cases, regardless of their sequencing results, they will have to complete the prescribed days of isolation while the close contacts must complete the 14-day quarantine regardless of the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) result.
The protocols for the surveillance unit will also remain the same, which include verifying the location of cases, conducting a case investigation, submission of a narrative report, sending specimen samples especially from areas with a spike of cases, and presence of clustering from contracts of arriving passengers from abroad.
“Whatever our variants may be, our approach remains the same in controlling COVID-19 but as per detection of these Brazilian variants, that is not true,” Bersaldo added. Philippine News Agency