Infectious disease expert sees no more variant as dangerous as Delta within the next year


Published January 30, 2022 10:22am

An infectious disease expert on Sunday said there could be no more variant as devastating as the more contagious coronavirus variant Delta, which originated in India.

In an interview over dzBB, Dr. Rontgene Solante also said he hopes there will be no more heavily mutated variant similar to the Omicron variant.

“Let’s say may variant. I don’t think that another variant that will be devastating as the Delta will be here soon within the next year kasi talagang itong mutation ng Omicron ay one of the heavily mutated. And I hope this will be the last among heavily mutated variants,” he said.

Nonetheless, Solante said the government must protect the unvaccinated, who are at risk for severe infection.

“Talagang ang protekatahan talaga natin dito ‘yung walang bakuna… ‘Yung nag-severe, even with the Omicron, they can still die kasi wala silang protection,” said Solante.

(We should protect the unvaccinated because those who have severe symptoms, even with the Omicron, they can still die because they don’t have protection.)

Removing facility-based quarantine for fully vaccinated ROFs

Solante said there are pros and cons in scrapping the facility-based quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) amid the spike in coronavirus disease infections.

He said the vaccination rate in the country is still low which means the unvaccinated are at risk and cases might increase.

“So nandu’n pa rin ang pangangamba na ‘yung mga unvaccinated, puwede pang mahawaan at puwede pa ring mag-develop ng maraming kaso,” he explained.

(There’s that concern that the unvaccinated can still contract the virus, and there could be many cases.)

However, Solante said the new rule may help open up the economy, adding that the fully vaccinated already have safety nets since they have protection from severe infections.

The Philippine government dropped the mandatory facility-based quarantine requirement for international travelers and ROFs who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The policy will take effect starting February 1.

International travelers and ROFs, however, must present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to departure from the country of origin and must self-monitor for seven days from the date of arrival. –KG, GMA News

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