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.