The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday, Feb 13 said there is still “no sufficient evidence” to declare community transmission of the B.1.1.7 (United Kingdom) variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, despite the Philippines having 44 confirmed cases.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that more study is needed to determine if the more transmissible variant of COVID-19 virus is now spreading in the communities.
“Hindi natin masasabi sa ngayon. There still no sufficient evidence na kumakalat na ba iyan or yung transmission niya ay ganito na (We cannot say yet. There is still no sufficient evidence to say that there is this level of transmission already),” said Vergeire during the Laging Handa press briefing.
“Kaya nga po patuloy natin na pinag-aaralan and we are continuously monitoring (That is why we continue to study and we are continuously monitoring [the situation]),” she added.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a community transmission refers to a large number of cases, clustering of cases in multiple areas, and “Inability to link cases to known sources of infection.”
On Friday night, Feb. 12, the DOH confirmed the detection of 19 more cases of the UK variant of COVID-19 virus in the country, bringing the total to 44.
It said that case investigation and contact tracing efforts are now being conducted in coordination with the local government units and other law enforcement agencies.