COVID-19 variants and country’s readiness for each, discussed by UP experts

| Written by Jo. Florendo B. Lontoc

COVID-19 variants and country’s readiness for each, discussed by UP experts


Experts from the University of the Philippines will discuss the presence of COVID-19 variants in the country and the implications of each for testing and clinical management of patients, as special topics in the University’s Stop COVID-19 Deaths Webinar No. 41, titled “COVID-19 Variants of Concern in the Philippines: Are We Ready?”, to be streamed on February 19, 2021, from 12 noon to 2 PM.

Dr. Eva Cutiongco-De la Paz, Program Director for Health of the Philippine Genome Center (PGC), will report on the presence, dominance, and location of the variants in the Philippines. PGC, a research unit of UP, has been the seat of genetic surveillance of the COVID-19 virus or SARSCov2 and its mutations in the country.

A microbiologist and infectious disease specialist, Dr. Raul Destura, creator of the first Philippine test kit for SARSCov2, will talk of the implications for testing of the UK, South Africa, and Brazil variants. Dr. Jubert Benedicto, the head of the UP Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Critical Care Unit-Management Action Team, will discuss research findings on the treatment against the new variants.

The organizers say that the special edition webinars of the series aim to keep the health sector informed, adapted, and adjusted to the evolution of SARSCov2 in the country. The Stop COVID Deaths series taps into the experiences of clinicians, hospital administrators, and researchers in order to protect the health system against COVID-19 by bridging the gap between knowledge and practice in the clinical management of cases in the Philippines.

The series is organized by the University in partnership with the UP Manila National Institutes of Health-National Telehealth Center and in cooperation with the UP-PGH.

Those who wish to participate may register at If registration is already at full capacity, a YouTube Live broadcast will also be available on TVUP at and