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.