BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The COVID second wave here might be caused either by a new virus variant or a complacency among residents in this urban capital of more than half a million.
Physician Chris Sorongon told DNX confirmed COVID cases went down to daily single digit levels up until April during which daily cases peaked by double to triple digits.
Sorongon, who is both spokesperson and deputy for medical data and analysis of the Emergency Operations Center, said the spread of the new variant can only be confirmed through a genome sequencing by the Philippine Genome Center.
The samples, however, must be sent by the molecular laboratories based here, he added.
Sorongon, however, pointed out cases have been happening in residential subdivisions and most of these infected are children or those with advanced age.
The United States Centers for Disease Control reports on its website three variants – P.1, B. 22.214.171.124, and B.1.1.7.
B.1.1.7 is the most reported in 139 locations, 11 verified and 128 unverified while B.126.96.36.199 is reoorted in 86 locations with 17 verified and 69 unverified.
P.1, meanwhile, was reported in 54 locations, nine verified and 45 unverified.
Sorongon added aside from a possible new variant, the complacency among residents could have also played a role in the spike.
“Perhaps people forget the pandemic is still ongoing,” Sorongon said as he added people should continue to follow minimum health protocols like wearing masks, washing hands and distancing.