DOH assures continuous monitoring of Covid-19 variants

COVID-19 virus

The Department of Health (DOH) assured the public that it is constantly monitoring the emergence of new Covid-19 variants in light of the detection of omicron subvariants XBB.1.5 and CH.1.1.

In a statement, the DOH said it is in constant coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) to determine the abilities of the current coronavirus variants circulating globally.

“The DOH is continuously monitoring these variants and coordinating with WHO for more guidance,” the health agency said.

The DOH also lauded the initiatives of both the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC) and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for the detection of new variants.

It also assured “continuous surveillance at borders and communities and genome sequencing of Covid-19 variants.”

Meanwhile, the country’s hospital utilization rate remains at manageable levels, the DOH said.

“Even with these detections of these variants and subvariants, the important indicator is that our hospitals remain to have manageable number of Covid-19 admissions and severe/critical cases are manageable,” it said.

Filipinos were also reminded to observe health protocols and get vaccinated.

“Just like any other variants and subvariants which had been detected, the DOH employs everyone to comply with our usual minimum public health standards,“ the agency said.

“Get vaccinated/boosted, and know the individual risk assessment in all activities,” it added.

To note, the DOH reported the presence of omicron subvariants XBB.1.5 and CH.1.1 on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) classified XBB.1.5 as a “variant of interest due to its increasing prevalence globally and enhanced immune evading properties,” the DOH said.

The CH.1.1 is “a variant under monitoring, due to its increasing prevalence and potential for immune escape,” the DOH said.


Omicron subvariants XBB.1.5, CH.1.1 detected in PH—DOH