Health expert pushes for genomic sequencing in COVID-19 hotspots

Published July 19, 2021, 4:04 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

Health advocate Dr. Anthony Leachon called on Monday, July 19, for the conduct of more genomic sequencing on hotspots areas to determine those infected with the Delta variant of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).


Aside from genomic sequencing, the former government health adviser has also urged the government to intensify testing and contact tracing, as well as build additional isolation facilities for infected patients.

“Once third surge sets in, that’s too late!,” Leachon said in a Twitter post.

The health expert has also pushed for the full contact tracing report of the 16 new cases of Delta variant detected in the country recently, 11 of which were considered as local cases.

Likewise, he pressed the government to fast-track its vaccination efforts.

Leachon had said that the “local transmission of delta variants is underreported due to lack of genome surveillance” particularly in hotspots areas outside the National Capital Region (NCR).

He noted that the high positivity rate in Davao, Iloilo, Bacolod , Mariveles, General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, Baguio, and Laoag “signifies active transmission.”

“Our local transmission of delta variants is underreported due to lack of genome surveillance studies particularly in hotspots outside of NCR,” he wrote in separate Twitter post.

“A higher percent positive suggests higher transmission and that there are likely more people with coronavirus in the community who haven’t been tested yet. We don’t know if the high number of cases are due to other variants. Thus we need to do both RT PCR & genomic sequencing,” he added.