New variants in Philippines more infectious – expert

In a message, Chairperson Apple de Jesus of Barangay Siena, City appealed to the barangays to take compliance with health and safety protocols against COVID-19 seriously.

“Hindi po impossible na magkaroon po tayo ng lockdown. Nito pong mga nakaraang linggo, sunod-sunod po ang kaso natin,” said De Jesus.

According to De Jesus, from one case of COVID-19 in their barangay, it has suddenly increased and accelerated in recent days.

There are now 14 active cases in the area.

“With regards to the variant, wala naman variant na na-identify pero ‘yong characteristics na nasa amin… parang ‘yong characteristic niya. Magkakaroon ng isa and then ‘pag tinest na namin ‘yong buong household, mayroon na. ‘Yong transmission mabilis,” said De Jesus.

According to infectious disease expert Dr. Rontgene Solante, what Barangay Siena is experiencing is a characteristic of the new variants of COVID-19, faster transmissibility and more contagious.

“I transmitted [to] 2, the 2 will also transmit to 4, the 4 will also transmit to potential 8, that’s how quickly the exponential increase is,” Solante’s explanation of contamination by variants.

“Sa old variant, your immune system can still be able to protect it… this one, can efficiently go to the cell kasi it evades now the normal process of detection sa cell natin because of that mutation,” he explained.

New variants in Philippines more infectious – expert

“It will take time for our body to develop an antibody against it,” added Solante.

Although younger people infected with the new variants experience less symptoms, when they are passed on to older relatives or have comorbidities, the symptoms they experience are more severe, according to Solante.

The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) explained that the new P.3 variant, which mutated in the Philippines, has similarities with other variants of concern.

“Hindi lumalala ‘yong symptoms, hindi naman nakakamatay ‘pag hindi ka immunocompromised. .. Kahit tayo healthy pero ‘yong ating members of the family, may ganitong conditions, susceptible sila,” said PGC Executive Director Cynthia Saloma.

According to Solante, based on the studies, people with human immunodeficiency virus and cancer are becoming incubators of new variants.

It is said that the virus lasts longer in their body and continues to mutate so they are the target to be immediately.

All variants of COVID-19 also aerosolize or become slightly airborne so experts recommend following health protocols, such as wearing a face mask.