BACOLOD CITY – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson reminded Negrenses on Monday not to let their guards down no matter what kind of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) variant is present in the province.
“It doesn’t matter what variant there is, the protocols are still the same. We still have to remain vigilant,” Lacson said in a telephone interview with reporters.
The governor issued the reminder, following reports that a Lambda variant case has been monitored in Negros Occidental.
“We can only do so much but for now, but we should (watch out) for the Delta variant because it is widespread. It is a fast spreader,” he added.
In a separate interview, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II said the suspected Lambda variant case in Negros Occidental is “still under investigation”.
The supposed patient, a 35-year-old pregnant woman, gave birth on July 22 at Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in this city but had not traveled outside the province in the past year.
The patient’s Covid-19 positive test result was sent to the Philippine Genome Center on August 3, and the result showing that she had contracted the Lambda variant came out on August 15.
Diaz, however, said that her close contacts yielded negative results in the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
Although this capital city already recorded two Delta variant cases, Negros Occidental has no record of this variant.
Moreover, Lacson said Negrenses should not panic amid reports of the new Covid-19 variants.
“It (panicking) will not help us. We are just reminding people to comply with the minimum health standards. There is no new strategy that is being introduced,” he added.
Negros Occidental, still under general community quarantine, has 928 active Covid-19 cases as of Aug. 15, data from the Provincial Incident Management Team showed.
Initial information provided by the Department of Health-Western Visayas stated that “[L]ambda variant is currently classified as a variant of interest (VOI) by the World Health Organization. VOI is one step below the variants of concern list”.
First identified in Peru in August last year, “this VOI has the potential to affect the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 and is currently being monitored for its possible clinical significance,” it added. (PNA)