The public should remain vigilant against COVID-19 with or without the presence of a variant of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes the dreaded respiratory disease, said Bohol Medical Society (BMS) president Dr. Jefferson Ong on Monday.
“Always g’yud na, whatever it may be, whether kadtong original COVID or a variant, all measures should remain the same. Og naay variant mag inistrikto ta ug dili variant di ta mag-inistrikto, dili unta ngana” said Ong.
Ong noted that a variant of the virus may already be in Bohol based on the recorded sudden outbreaks in particular localities in the province which may be attributed to a more contagious mutation or variant.
“It is possible. Kadtong time na diha tay outbreak sa Dauis, diha pud to sa Ubay nga medyo paspas na kaso na medyo sunod-sunod, we presume na kadto tungod sa variant,” said Ong.
According to Ong, the mutation earlier detected by provincial health authorities through the Philippine Genome Center early in March may have already been a variant.
“Wa to siya ma share sa tibuok medical cluster but we are already aware na dunay mga giingon na clustering of cases,” Ong said.
In a virtual press briefing early in March, Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force spokesperson Dr. Yul Lopez announced that a mutation of SARS-CoV-2 that is linked to increased transmissibility was detected in the province.
Lopez said the B1.1.28 mutation was detected in 16 COVID-stricken individuals in Bohol as reported by the Philippine Genome Center (PGC).
The mutation of “potential clinical significance” was found in 14 Dauis residents, one Bilar resident and one Maribojoc resident.
Lopez said that Bohol health authorities, in the first week of February, sent 80 samples from COVID-positive individuals to the PGC for genome sequencing and 16 of these were found to have the mutated coronavirus.
All 16 COVID-infected individuals recovered from the disease. (A. Doydora)