21 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Caraga — DOH

Marje Pelayo   •   June 9, 2021   •   111

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) Center for Health Development-Caraga reported 21 cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variants in the region.

This is based on the latest results of Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) received from the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center.

Of the samples sent, 13 samples tested positive for B.1.351 (first detected in South Africa), seven for B.1.1.7 (first detected in the UK) and one for P.3 (first detected in the Philippines).

The confirmed B.1.351 cases are locals of the following areas:
Bislig City (7)
Lianga, Surigao del Sur (4)
Cortes, Surigao del Sur (1)
Tandag City (1).

Meanwhile, the confirmed B.1.1.7 cases are from the following areas:
Barobo, Surigao del Sur (2)
Butuan City (2)
Esperanza, Agusan del Sur (1)
Lianga, Surigao del Sur (1)
Madrid, Surigao del Sur (1).

The confirmed P.3 variant case is a resident of Tandag City.

Initial investigation showed that among these 21 variant cases, 13 have no travel history outside their area and eight are close contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Currently, out of the 21, eighteen (18 ) are already asymptomatic and back to their normal daily routine, while one is still recovering at home.

Two cases with the B.1.351 variant died while admitted in the hospital – one (1) from Bislig City and another from Cortes, Surigao del Sur.

Concerned local health authorities are currently implementing the mandatory quarantine and control measures including rigorous tracing of the 1st to 3rd generation close contacts and re-swabbing of confirmed cases with COVID-19 variants

“With the increasing cases and continuous emergence of COVID-19 variants of concern in the region, we are appealing to the Caraganons to strictly adhere to the health protocols and minimum public health standards,” said DOH Caraga Regional Director Cesar Cassion.

“We also strongly encourage immediate vaccine uptake once the vaccines are available to your respective priority eligible group. Let us remember that by following these health measures, transmission across population and further mutation of COVID-19 can be prevented. So, let us continue to be vigilant and work together to end this pandemic,” he added.

55 more COVID-19 Delta variant cases detected

Maris Federez   •   July 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Fifty-five more cases of the highly contagious Covid-19 Delta variant have been detected in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) said in a statement released Sunday (July 25).

This brings the total Delta cases in the country to 119.

Of the new number, 37 are local cases –14 from Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), eight from Northern Mindanao, six from the National Capital Region, six from Central Luzon, two from Davao Region, and one from the Ilocos Region.

The other 17 cases are returning overseas Filipino, while one case is being verified if it is local or an ROF.

One case has died while 54 cases have been tagged as recovered, the DOH said.

The DOH, together with the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) also reported the detection of 94 Alpha variant cases, 179 Beta variant cases, and 9 P.3 variant cases in the latest batch of whole-genome sequencing.

“With the establishment of the local transmission of the Delta variant, we need a swifter implementation of our response strategies,” the DOH said.

The health department called on local government units (LGUs) “to immediately contain observed case increases through granular lockdowns and stronger Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) implementation.”

“We call on both public and private sectors to ensure active case finding, aggressive contact tracing, immediate isolation or quarantine, and compliance to minimum public health standards in their respective localities and even workplaces,” it added.

The DOH also urged those who have become exposed to a COVID-19 patient or have developed signs or symptoms of the deadly respiratory virus “to immediately isolate and reach out to their Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams or BHERTs for appropriate medical management.”

17 more COVID-19 Delta variant cases detected — DOH

Maris Federez   •   July 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH), the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) reported the detection of 17 more Delta (B.1.617.2) variant cases in the country.

According to the three agencies ‘ joint statement released on Saturday, July 24, the detection of the additional 17 brought the total Delta variant cases to 64.

Of the additional 17 Delta variant cases, 12 are local cases, one is a Returning Overseas Filipino (ROF), and four are still under verification as to whether they are local or ROF cases, the statement said.

It added that of the 12 local cases nine had an indicated address in the National Capital Region (NCR), while three were from Calabarzon Region.

Three cases remain active, while 14 have been tagged as recovered.

Meanwhile, the group has also detected 11 more Alpha (B.1.1.7), 13 Beta (B.1.351), and two P.3 variant cases on the latest batch of whole-genome sequencing.

The statement said that of the additional 11 Alpha variant cases, 10 were local cases and one is currently being verified.

Based on the case line list, one remains active, seven cases have died, and three cases have been tagged as recovered.

This brings the total Alpha variant cases to 1,679, the report said.

The report further said that the additional 13 Beta variant cases are composed of 10 local and three under verification cases.

Ten of the cases have already recovered and only one is still active. Two cases, however, had reportedly died.

The recorded data showed that the total Beta variant cases are now at 1,840.

Meanwhile, both recently detected P.3 variant cases have been tagged as recovered. One is a local case and the other is still being verified if it is a local or an ROF case.

The report said that the samples taken from seafarers of M/V Tug Clyde and Barge Claudia have been included in the next batch of whole-genome sequencing.

With the announcement of local transmissions of the Delta variant, the DOH emphasized the need to ensure active case finding, aggressive contact tracing, increased risk-based and targeted testing, and the immediate isolation/quarantine of suspect/probable cases and close contacts.

The health department advises the public to strictly adhere to the minimum public health standards, have themselves inoculated, and complete their vaccine doses as scheduled.

Central Visayas now on 3rd wave of COVID-19 cases – DOH

Maris Federez   •   July 12, 2021

The Department of Health Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (DOH-RESU) in Region 7 has declared a third wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Central Visayas Region.

In a statement released on Sunday, DOH-RESU-7 chief Dr. Eugenia Mercedes Caña said the agency has been monitoring the cases in the region for the last 4 weeks which showed an upward trend in the epidemic curve.

“We are in a third wave now. We have been monitoring the cases for the last four weeks in Central Visayas, not just Cebu City and our epidemic curve shows an upward trend,” she said.

Cañal said that her assumption and interpretation of a third wave were based solely on the rising epidemic curve among the provinces in Central Visayas.

“Epidemiologically speaking, there is no strict definition for what is or is not an epidemic wave. A wave simply implies a rising number of cases. The word “wave” implies a natural pattern of peaks,” Cañal said.

The DOH said the main reason for the upward trend is the more transmissible variants of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The health department also said that a possible reason for the trend is the gatherings held by some residents like weddings, fiesta and birthday celebrations.

The RESU-7 chief, however, said that there is still no Delta variant detected in Central Visayas so far.

A bio-surveillance data showed that variants of concern detected in the region were Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1351) and Theta (P.3).

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