MANILA, Philippines – More cases of the highly infectious variants of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been detected in the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday.
In an update, the DOH said that 116 more cases of the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant, which was first reported in India, have been recorded in the country based on the report of the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH).
This brings the total Delta variant cases to 331, the agency said.
Of the additional 116 Delta variant cases detected, the DOH said that 95 are local cases, one is a returning overseas Filipino (ROF), and 20 cases are currently being verified if these are local or ROF cases.
Of the 95 local cases, 83 cases had an indicated address in the National Capital Region, while three had indicated addresses in CALABARZON, four in Central Visayas, two in Davao Region, and one each in Zamboanga Peninsula, Cagayan Valley, and Ilocos Region. All cases have been tagged as recovered.
“All other information is being validated by our regional and local health offices,” the DOH said.
There was also a duplicate case among the 216 total tally of Delta variant cases as of July 29, according to the DOH, correcting the tally back then to 215.
Health authorities also reported the detection of 113 Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant cases, 122 Beta (B.1.351) variant cases, and 10 P.3 variant cases in the latest batch of whole genome sequencing.
Of the additional 113 Alpha variant cases detected, 104 were local cases, one ROF, and eight are currently being verified if they are a local or ROF case.
Based on the case line list, two cases have died and 111 cases have been tagged as recovered.
Apart from this, an Alpha variant case tested from one laboratory had 2 samples that were both sequenced. With this, the total Alpha variant case as of July 29 is updated from 1,856 to 1,855.
This brings the total Alpha variant cases to 1,968.
The Alpha variant was first reported in the United Kingdom.
Of the additional 122 Beta variant cases, 104 were local cases, four ROFs, and 14 cases are currently being verified if they are local or ROF cases.
All cases have been tagged as recovered.
The total Beta variant cases are now at 2,268.
The Beta variant was first detected in South Africa
Meanwhile, of the 10 additional P.3 variant cases detected, nine were local cases and one was an ROF. All cases have been tagged as recovered.
“DOH would like to reiterate that these cases detected with the variants of concern are already COVID-19 positive, hence, clinical management and response remain the same,” the agency said.
The DOH also said that while community transmission of the Delta variant is being studied, the national government together with LGUs should act aggressively as if there is already community transmission.
Due to the imposition of Enhanced Community Quarantine on the National Capital Region (NCR), the DOH urged the public to continue practicing the minimum public health standards at all times to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Everyone is also reminded to ensure there is good ventilation whenever indoors by opening windows and doors,” it said.
“Moreover, the DOH reiterated to the public to avail of the free vaccination program if they are eligible, register with your local government,” it added.
The NCR will be placed under ECQ from August 6 to 20.