THREAD: Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines holds a webinar on the new COVID-19 variants | LIVE

Tweets by our digital producer @cathmodesto1
Philippine Medical Association President Benito Atienza notes that a year into the pandemic, some hospitals in Metro Manila — the coronavirus epicenter — have hit full capacity to cater to COVID-19 patients
Dr. Nina Gloriani, head of the DOST's vaccine development expert panel explains that a mutation is any change in the DNA or RNA sequence
Viruses are made up of a core of genetic material — either DNA or RNA — covered in a coat of proteins. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, uses RNA and its surface is called the spike protein
Dr. Gloriani says viruses naturally mutate, especially RNA viruses
Some SARS-CoV-2 variants carry mutations that either appear to evade antibodies or make the virus easier to spread than previously known variants
Dr. Gloriani shows the performance of frontrunners in the COVID-19 vaccine race against variants of concern
Dr. Gloriani says B.1.1.7 variant first detected in the UK is easily more transmitted because it has the N501Y mutation
Dr. Gloriani says the B.1.351 variant first found in South Africa has N501Y as well as E484K and K417N mutations which may escape antibodies
Dr. Gloriani says P.1 variant first detected in Brazil has the N501Y and E484K mutations
In total, the country recorded 223 cases of the variant from the UK, 152 with the variant from South Africa, and one case of the variant from Brazil…
The country also recorded 104 variant cases first reported in the Philippines called P.3. The World Health Organization has yet to declare if P.3 is a variant of concern like B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1
Dr. Gloriani, citing the US CDC, says travel increases people’s chance of spreading and getting coronavirus.

She recommends postponing travel especially to places experiencing major outbreaks of COVID-19 like Metro Manila where variants of concern have been detected.
Dr. Gloriani on what to do if travel cannot be avoided
Dr. Gloriani cites US FDA study that found that double masking — wearing a mask on top of another — can reduce the risk of infection by 95% compared to a simple mask
Dr. Gloriani says she herself does the double masking
Dr. Gloriani shares three ways to boost one's immune system to lower the risk of catching COVID-19
Dr. Gloriani: Please take extra precautions if you must go out this Holy Week season
Dr. Gloriani: The sooner we vaccinate 70 to 80 percent of our population to achieve herd immunity, the better.
Dr. Gloriani says vaccines that appear less effective against variants of concern are better than zero protection.
Dr. Gloriani says the COVID-19 vaccines that the Philippines currently has cannot cause coronavirus infection.
But she says if the person is carrying the coronavirus at the time of inoculation, the vaccine will have no effect, but notes more evidence is needed to make this conclusion.
Philippine Medical Association: As of now, delayed ang rollout sa ibang provinces, dapat nasa rural health centers na ang mga bakuna, pero iyong iba nasa hospitals palang.
Dr. Lulu Bravo, Philippine Foundation for Vaccination Founder and Executive Director, and Dr. Nina Gloriani say those who received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines will still need a booster shot to protect them against the variants of concerns.
Dr. Gloriani says they are requiring India-based vaccine maker Bharat Biotech to submit data on the effect of their coronavirus shot against the variants of concern.
Bharat Biotech has a pending application for emergency use of its coronavirus shot in the Philippines.

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More from @cnnphilippines

25 Mar
THREAD: Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque holds a media briefing | LIVE

Updates by our digital producers @gleefjalea and @lisbetesmael
Roque reiterates President Rodrigo Duterte's call to follow the government's COVID-19 vaccination list.
Roque gives a list of livelihood programs that are still being implemented amid the pandemic.
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Iniimbestigahan na ng ahensya ang pangyayari.

Makakausap ni @iampinkywebb sa #Balitaan si Dr. Rita Mae Ang-Bon ng DOH Bicol, mamayang 12pm.
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25 Mar
THREAD: Government officials hold 'Laging Handa' briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, other national issues.

Tweets by our digital producer @bamba__g
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25 Mar
Sen. Frank Drilon wants to make red-tagging a crime. Law enforcers and military personnel who labels, accuses or harasses someone as a state enemy or terrorist shall suffer a 10-year jail sentence and be perpetually banned from public office. | @meltlopez
Sen. Drilon: The passage of this bill will reverse the “increasingly institutionalization and normalization of human rights violations” and put a stop on the attacks against the members of the legal profession. | @meltlopez
Sen. Leila De Lima also files a resolution calling for a Congressional probe on the rampant red-tagging and 'undue investigation' targeting lawyers, judges & teachers. | @meltlopez
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Despite 61 COVID-19 cases in the Supreme Court, the retirement ceremony for Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta pushes through.

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Justice Leonen: The leadership of our honoree in the Peralta court has highlighted the solid, unbreakable unity within our ranks. He has stood with us and defended those among us who were attacked. And I also speak personally. | @anjocalimario
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25 Mar
THREAD: @iampinkywebb speaks to ret. Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on #TheSource | LIVE

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Ret. Justice Carpio: Chinese militia vessels were seen on March 7, but military analyzed the situation first
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