The new COVID variant that was first reported in the U.K. has been detected in the Philippines. It's more contagious than the original variant, but safety measures remain the same and must continue to be observed, authorities said.
Health Sec. Francisco Duque told the public that the strategy against COVID-19 remains the same: prevention, early detection, aggressive isolation, quarantine, and testing.
Wearing face masks up, putting face shields down instead of wearing it like a headband, and avoiding crowds in enclosed spaces is still the best way to avoid catching the virus—be it the old variant or the new one, he said.
"We are not defenseless for as long as we do things right," Duque said.
"Yung pagsusunod sa ating minimum public health standards ay talagang napakahalaga. Huwag po natin babalewalain ito. Huwag po nating isasangtabi ito bagkus kailangan pa talagang mas maingat tayo," he said.
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Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said observing minimum health standards is the best defense against the new variant, as the mode of transmission is still the same.
"Kailangan talaga natin to strictly implement itong isolation, quarantine," Vergeire said.
There are efforts to determine if there are still other individuals who were affected by the new variant in order to better prepare for potential spikes in cases, she said.