The Daily Manila Shimbun


IATF forms TWG to monitor, recommend response related to COVID-19 variants

January 6, 2021

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has created a Technical Working Group on COVID-19 Variants headed by Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

In a statement on Wednesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the IATF established the TWG on January 5.

"This Technical Working Group will monitor and identify the occurrence of new variants of COVID-19 in the country and will provide policy recommendations to the IATF on the appropriate response regarding these variants," he said.

Executive Director Jaime Montoya of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development will serve as co-chair of the TWG.

Other members include Dr. Anna Ong-Lim of the DOH Technical Advisory Group; Dr. Marissa Alejandria of the DOH TAG; Dr. Edsel Maurice Salvana of the DOH TAG; Dr. Celia Carlos of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine; Dr. Eva Maria Cutiongco-dela Paz of the University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health; Dr. Cynthia Saloma of the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center; and Dr. John Wong of Epimetrics.

The Philippines has issued travel restrictions already to foreigners coming from 21 countries, including Japan, United Kingdom, and United States, where the new COVID-19 strain was reported. The restrictions are effective until January 15. Celerina Monte/DMS