The World Health Organization (WHO) is closely monitoring the so-called “Delta subvariant” of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which was first detected in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO representative to the Philippines, echoed the statement of the Department of Health (DOH) that the Delta AY.4.2 sublineage has not yet been detected in the Philippines.
“The Philippines is monitoring variants, and this particular variant has not yet been confirmed in the Philippines,” Abeyasinghe said in a public briefing.
“We continue to work not only with those countries that have confirmed it, but we also checking the presence of this variant even here in the Philippines, and that has not yet been confirmed,” he added.
Last week, the Health department reported that the biosurveillance activities of the country have been closely monitoring 46 sublineages of the Delta variant, and so far has not detected the AY.4.2 sublineage.
“As of this moment, experts are still studying the potential impact of the Delta sublineage on the transmissibility and severity of COVID-19,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire in a statement.
“The particular Delta sublineage has not yet been detected among the COVID-19 positive samples sequenced in the country,” she added.
Meanwhile, the WHO official said the newly discovered subvariant has not yet been classified as “variant of interest” or “variant of concern.”
“We are looking very closely at this. Right now this not classified as a variant of interest or variant of concern,” Abeyasinghe said.
“The WHO continues to monitor the spread of this particular new variant that has been detected,” he added.