PH detects 466 new Delta variant cases, total rises to 1,273

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2021   •   364

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has detected more cases of highly infectious variants of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

In an update, the DOH said that 466 new cases of Delta variant, which first emerged in India, have been reported 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 1,273, the agency said.

Of the additional 466 Delta variant cases detected, 442 are local cases, 14 are returning overseas Filipinos (ROF), and 10 cases are currently being verified if they are local or ROF cases.

The DOH said the local cases were listed in the following areas:

  • 201 cases in the National Capital Region
  • 69 in Central Luzon
  • 7 in Cagayan Valley
  • 49 in CALABARZON
  • 14 in MIMAROPA
  • 4 in Bicol Region
  • 52 in Western Visayas
  • 19 in Central Visayas
  • 6 in Northern Mindanao
  • 11 in Davao Region
  • 7 cases in SOCCSKSARGEN
  • 3 cases in Ilocos Region

“Based on the case line list, one is still active, eight cases have died, while 457 cases have been tagged as recovered,” the DOH said.

“All other details are being validated by the regional and local health offices,” it added.

Amid the growing number of Delta variant carriers, the DOH said that further evidence is still needed in order to say that there is a community transmission of Delta variant in the entire Philippines.

“The DOH clarifies that the government needs further evidence to support the announcement of the whole country to have community transmission of the Delta variant,” it said.

The agency, however, noted that community transmission was identified in Region IV-A and in Metro Manila-based on the following observations:

  • Large numbers of Delta cases
  • Case investigations and phylogenetic analysis showed that these cases cannot be epidemiologically linked to each other nor source/s of infection determined

“Analysis of the latest sequencing results for the determination of community transmission is ongoing for other regions,” the DOH said.

The DOH, the national government, and the local government units, however, have since responded as if there is already community transmission.

Philippine health authorities also reported the detection of 90 Alpha variant cases, 105 Beta variant cases, and 41 P.3 variant cases in the latest batch of whole-genome sequencing.

Of the additional Alpha variant cases detected, 89 were local cases and one case is currently being verified if this is a local or ROF case.

Based on the case line list, one case is still active, one case has died, and 88 cases have been tagged as recovered.

The total Alpha variant cases are now 2,322.

Meanwhile, of the additional 105 Beta variant cases detected, 101 were local cases and 4 cases were ROFs.

Four of these cases have died, 99 cases have been tagged as recovered, and two cases with outcomes that are being verified.

The total Beta variant cases are now 2,588.

Meanwhile, the 41 additional P.3 variant cases were all local cases.

Based on the case list, 40 cases have been tagged as recovered while one case has an outcome that is being verified.

The DOH reiterated that active case finding, aggressive contact tracing and testing, lowering the interval between detection and isolation/quarantine, strengthened PDITR strategies, vaccination, and strict adherence to the minimum public health standards are the interventions in preventing the transmission of the COVID-19 and its variants.

PH gov’t tracing 253 passengers from Africa amid looming threat of Omicron

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is tracing and monitoring more than 200 travelers who arrived in the country from African nations in the last two weeks amid the threat of new COVID-19 variant called Omicron, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they have traced a total of 253 passengers from South Africa who arrived in the Philippines from November 15 to 29.

“BOQ has started to locate these passengers,” Vergeire said in a virtual press forum.

Of the 253 passengers, 249 were returning overseas Filipinos and four were foreigners. Authorities have traced 71 of these individuals.

The number includes three foreigners still in quarantine in Western Visayas after yielding negative test results.

Vergeire said three of these passengers initially tested positive for COVID-19. One passenger came from South Africa, another from Burkina Faso, and the other from Egypt.

She said samples of these travelers may undergo genome sequencing for variant identification.

“We are still processing the batch that we are going to subject to whole genome sequencing for this week. Results might be tonight or maybe tomorrow,” she said.

“Meron pong dumating na 253 from South Africa noong Nov. 15 to 29, may tatlo galing Burkina Faso; and mayroon 541 galing Egypt. Each of these countries nagkaroon ng isang traveler who tested positive for COVID-19,” she added.

The Philippine government banned the entry of travelers – except for Filipino repatriates – from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy until December 15 as a precautionary measure against the Omicron variant.

The DOH said the heavily mutated variant and potentially more infectious than other coronavirus variants have now been detected in 35 countries.

The variant was first discovered in South Africa.

It has been designated as a variant of concern but the World Health Organization said further studies are needed to better understand the variant’s effect on vaccines, treatment, and the virus’ transmissibility.

Over 90 million COVID-19 vaccine jabs administered in PH – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has administered over 90 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since the government rolled out the immunization drive in March, Malacañang said Friday.

Citing the December 2 data from the National COVID-19 Vaccination dashboard, acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles said a total of 90,259,621 doses have been administered nationwide.

Of said figure, 48.42 percent or 37.3 million individuals have been fully vaccinated, he added.

The total included some 52.4 million first doses and 432,301 booster doses.

The government aims to vaccinate 54 million by the end of 2021 and up to 70 million by March 2022 to attain population protection against COVID-19.

In a bid to scale up the country’s vaccination rate, the government launched a three-day mass vaccination campaign, which initially aimed to vaccinate 9 million.

The campaign covered at least 8 million individuals in three days. The Department of Health earlier said this figure is expected to go up as reports continue to come in.

Meanwhile, the government also announced that the expanded rollout of the administration of booster shots for all fully vaccinated individuals aged 18 and above has started on Friday.

This program includes the Phase 2 rollout of the booster and additional doses for priority group A3 (persons with comorbidities), Nograles said.

Tandaan natin na importanteng magpabakuna sa gitna ng banta ng Omicron variant,” he said.

“Sa milyun-milyong nabakunahan na mga Pilipino, 99%+++ ay walang naramdaman na adverse reaction, o kung mayroon man, mild lamang po ito. Wala pong namatay na direktang may kaugnayan sa COVID-19 vaccine jab,” he added.

8 million people immunized vs COVID-19 in PH mass vaccination drive – NVOC

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – At least 8 million individuals out of the 9 million target vaccinees were vaccinated against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the three-day mass vaccination drive, the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) said Friday.

Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, who chairs the NVOC, said a total of 2,709,344 COVID-19 shots were administered on the first day of the campaign; 2,475,479 on day 2; and 2,829,928 on Wednesday.

Based on current data, the running total of administered doses was at 8,014,751 as of 6 a.m. Friday.

Cabotaje said the figure is expected to increase when reports from local government units come in.

The NVOC chair said the top performing regions in terms of the number of jabs administered were Calabarzon, Central Luzon, and Central Visayas.

“Together, they have accounted for about a third of the 8 million jabs that have been produced during the three days,” she said in a televised public briefing.

Provinces with the highest vaccination outputs during the three-day drive were Cebu, Negros Occidental, and Cavite.

Authorities initially aimed to inoculate at least 9 million individuals during the three-day vaccination drive from November 29 to December 1.

The vaccination program has been extended until Friday.

Another round of nationwide immunization against COVID-19 will be held from December 15 to 17.

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