MANILA – Strict implementation of the minimum health protocol against the coronavirus remains the top defense for Filipinos to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus, especially with the new variant of Covid-19, the country’s testing czar said.
At the Kapihan sa Manila Bay Forum Wednesday, National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF) deputy chief implementer Vivencio Dizon said Filipinos are not defenseless against the new variant of Covid-19.
“In order to fight that, the main weapon is really the minimum health standards that we need to enforce. ‘Yan ang pinakaepektibo nating panlaban sa new variant [That’s the most effective defense against the new (Covid-19) variant],” Dizon said.
Since new variants of the virus cannot be detected by the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test but only through genome sequencing, the testing czar sees the need to strengthen the country’s capability to do genome sequencing test with or without the Covid-19 crisis.
“I think whether we have Covid or not, we need more capability all over the country to do genome sequencing,” he said.
He said treatment for the original and new Covid-19 variants remains the same.
“The main difference is that (the new Covid-19 variant) is just transmitted faster, or more contagious,” said Dizon, adding that wearing face mask and face shield, hand washing and sanitizing, and physical distancing are crucial to reduce the transmission of the virus.
He added that the NTF continues to strengthen its test, trace, and treat strategy in its fight against Covid-19.
Dizon said while the country is waiting for the roll out of the immunization program, Filipinos should continue to practice the minimum health standards.
“Prevention is very important,” he said.
The first batch of Covid-19 vaccines is expected to arrive next month. (PNA)