Maria Rosario Vergeire (Source: RTVM)


The rise of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections in the country cannot be tracked yet to the presence of the “G” variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, even if such strain was already reported in June, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

The clarification was made by the Department of Health (DOH) after the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) confirmed that the strain D614G or the “G” variant was seen in a small sample from a Covid-19 infected person in Quezon City. 

The G variant caused the global pandemic known today as Covid-19. Various international studies proved that the “G” variant has been considered as the “globally dominant form of SARS-CoV-2.”

The PGC added that the authors of the study “said mutation can increase the viral rate of transmission.”

“Ang RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine), nag-aaral na ng genome sequencing since March. Itong G14 and G15 variant, taken from Quezon City, pero maliit na sample lang, nakita noong June,” Vergeire said.

“Pinag-aaralan ito hindi para makita ang variants but to understand paano nagpo-progress itong disease. They will be providing us with information kapag may mas kumpleto na silang detalye,” she explained.

Vergeire noted that the increase of new Covid-19 infections is the result of the country’s expanded testing. 

“Our testing capacity is three times more than Indonesia,” Vergeire said.

However, the DOH data showed the number of persons tested per day dropped after reaching 37,000 on August 7.

The numbers further dropped in the succeeding days to 34,000, 27,000, 34,000, 25,000, 31,000, 33,000, 31,000, 31,000 and 25,000 by August 16, the DOH’s latest data. RJ Espartinez