Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said on Monday concerned government agencies must address how new variants of COVID-19 are entering the country.
The Department of Health (DOH) reported that there are four COVID-19 variants in the Philippines, with one reportedly originating from the country.
On March 13, the health department said the country has 98 cases of P.3, a variant first reported in the Philippines; a case of the P.1 variant first reported in Brazil; 177 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant from the United Kingdom; and 90 cases of the B.1.351 or the South African variant.
Domagoso said the presence of new COVID-19 variants in the Philippines may have led to the resurgence of infection because the variants, particularly the ones from UK and South Africa, are said to be more contagious.
“I think the question should be raised — bakit nakakapasok ang mga bagong variants (why are there new variants entering the country),” he said in a live broadcast on Facebook on Sunday (March 14).
“Bakit may mga UK variants, bakit may mga South Africa variants na nakakapasok, eh, samantalang mahigpit naman po talaga dapat ang mga port of entries sa ating bansa (Why are there UK variants, why are there South Africa variants entering, when the port of entries of our country should be secured),” he added.
The Manila mayor urged the concerned government agencies to address the said issue to curb the spread of infection.
“Kailangan mabigyan ng atensyon ‘yan ng mga ahensyang naka-talaga diyan (That should be given attention by the agency assigned there,” he said. “Let them do their jobs and we’ll do our jobs. Let’s not point fingers.”