President Duterte holds special meeting with IATF regarding the developments on new variant of COVID-19 | via Christina Mendez

26 December 2020

President Duterte holds special meeting with IATF regarding the developments on new variant of COVID-19 | via Christina Mendez
• Duterte said the new strain has been detected in Sabah, Malaysia.
• Duterte noted that Sabah is a few hours away from Sulu.
• Duterte cited Sulu government assurances to avoid speculations re new variant of the virus.
• On the variant of COVID-19, Duterte said prudence dictates we should confront this disease.
• With the new strain, true or not, Duterte revokes his orders to DepEd to allow face-to-face classes for children until we are through with this.. we ought to know the nature of the germ we are encountering.
• Duterte: I am cancelling the order given a few weeks ago to the education department, suspend face-to-face classes.
• Duterte: We know a little only of this new variant.
• Health Sec. Duque discusses background on the new COVID-19 variant; it has 70 percent transmissibility but no indication yet that it can cause more serious implications on humans.
• Duque: 77 people arrived from UK recently, over 50 tested negative… there are some who tested positive but yet to be determined if it’s the new variant.
• Duque: No cases of new variant monitored in PHL.
• Duque: The group recommends the mandatory screening/isolation of incoming passengers at New Clark City.
• Duque: Travel ban will be considered only once community transmission of the new variant has been recorded in the country.
• Duque: DILG and LGUs are recommended to ensure that travellers will abide with the 14-day quarantine.
• Duque pushes for need to intensify bio genome capacity/surveillance system vs new variant.
• Philippine Genome Center chief Dr. Cynthia Saloma tells the President that the virus has 12,000 mutation; Apart from testing, there is a need to do genome sequencing of the virus.
• Duterte prays and hopes that it won’t reach the PHL. He asks experts if the PHL will order another lockdown. Should we go back to the lockdowns again?

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