MANILA – A health official on Monday said the Department of Health cannot say yet whether there is community transmission in the country given the surge in transmission and that most cases of variants of concern are local.
“Usually when we declare levels of transmission in our country or other areas, we have the WHO [World Health Organization] to work with us based on parameters and based on appropriate and adequate contact tracing,” Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online media forum.
Vergeire said there must be no link from the individuals who get the variant of concern among the community, the neighbors, or the relatives to say there is already community transmission.
“Sa ngayon, kapag tiningnan natin yung mga analysis nakikita pa rin nating yung mga (When we look at the analysis now, we still see the) linkages,” she said.
With the help of WHO experts, Vergeire said the DOH is focusing its studies on improving its genomic biosurveillance.
“Our sampling methodology, how we get from each region weekly, which must be the focus, how many, so we can get a complete picture of what’s happening in the country when it comes to variants. Second is the transmission and the capacity of variants to increase transmission and extent of the transmission,” she added.
On Monday, the DOH reported 257 new Covid-19 cases, increasing the country’s recovered cases to 703,625.
It also logged 11,373 additional confirmed cases and 204 new deaths, bringing the overall tally of active cases to 157,451 and the death toll to 15,149. (PNA)