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DOH to submit virus mutations’ data to WHO, int’l database to determine possible ‘harm’

The Department of Health (DOH) will submit its data on the two newly detected mutations of coronavirus in the country to the World Health Organization (WHO) for further study, Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Monday.

Interviewed on GMA News’ Unang Balita, Vergeire added their data on mutations E484K and N501Y in SARS-CoV-2 virus will also be forwarded to Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GSAID).

“Ang gagawin po natin, isusumite po natin sa GSAID, which is an international system, ito pong ating mga detection, and also to WHO, so that they can better classify what type of variant are these,” she said.

“That's why we want to make sure, that's why we are asking the help of WHO by submitting to them so that they can also tell us if these are really the mutation that will cause harm to our public,” she added

Earlier, DOH Region 7 announced that the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) detected two coronavirus “mutations of concern” in samples from Cebu.

DOH 7 spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said 37 of 50 samples sequenced by the PGC showed the mutations E484K and N501Y in SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19.

She added that 29 out of the 50 samples had a co-occurrence of the two mutations.

“These two mutations of concern are actually of global concern also. Hindi siya atin lang talaga. This is of global concern because, apparently, these are the mutations that are related to increased transmissibility,” she said in a briefing. — RSJ, GMA News