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Dr. Edsel Salvaña claims that COVID-19 in the Philippines may have originated from India

Dr. Edsel Salvana said in an interview that the first case of COVID-19 in the Philippines may have originated from India.

  • 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.

A Twitter user also said India already implemented “strict border controls” even before the Philippines did.


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.

Written by Jacks

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