- He said that it’s not known if an Indian was the one that brought the virus to the country but he knows that the “mother virus” came from India.
- Netizens questioned his clams saying that the first case of COVID-19 in the Philippines was actually a lady from Wuhan.
Dr. Edsel Salvaña said on May 20 that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Philippines could have originated from India.
Using publicly shared genome sequences, the most genetically-related virus in the Philippines came from the South Asian nation, said Dr. Edsel Salvaña, a member of the government’s Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) technical advisory group.
“Hindi natin alam kung Indian ‘yon or may nag-travel lang sa India. Basta alam natin ‘yong pinaka-related na virus na parang mother virus na nandito sa atin ngayon actually originated from India,” he said in an interview with Teleradyo.
He said that the virus strain from India may have caused the outbreak in the Philippines.
“Puwedeng may nag-travel, kahit anong nationality. Dumaan muna siya sa India, tapos nahawa siya do’n tapos na-introduce niya sa Pilipinas or may isang Pilipino na nasa India tapos binalik niya after siya nag-tour.”
The doctor also stressed that as the virus’ family tree appeared in China, it has traveled to Australia before making its way to India.
‘Yong sa India, nanggaling sa Australia and then ‘yong galing sa Australia galing sa China. So umikot muna siya ng mundo bago siya dumating sa atin.”
Netizens questioned Salvana’s clams, saying that the origin of the first case in the country is from Wuhan, China.
Wet lungs. Aym kompyus. Paanong sa India galing ang covid cases natin samantalang ang index case ay babaeng galing sa wuhan? Ano na namang kagaguhan ito?
Sinong nagresearch nito? pic.twitter.com/H6U5MzhLiT
— Quarantine Tarantado (@Simply_Clinton) May 21, 2020
Sabi ni Dr. Edsel Salvana galing daw sa India yung strain ng COVID-19 sa Pinas. Tapos yung sa India galing daw sa Australia. Ang first case po ng COVID-19 sa India ay may travel history sa Wuhan, China. LOL
— Mali John, Jr. (@FouSurLaColline) May 21, 2020
the strain of the SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), in the Philippines could have originated from India, Dr. Edsel Salvana said wednesday.
— Sahid Fenty (@Staar_Gar_Yen) May 20, 2020
A Twitter user also said India already implemented “strict border controls” even before the Philippines did.
Imma take this with a grain of salt because: India implemented strict border controls a lot earlier than PH and the sitch got bad there starting only with that one super-spreader; and said expert is Dr. Edsel Salvaña of the IATF
— Nathaniel (@heycesarcarlos) May 21, 2020
In April, the doctor stated that the country “seems to indicate flattening [of the curve]” even if mass testing has yet to be done. The Palace has then contradicted his statement.