MANILA, Philippines – Twelve more cases of the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 variant, which first emerged in India, have been recorded in the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday.
In an update, the DOH said the additional Delta (B.1.617.2) variant cases detected by the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) are all local cases.
The DOH said that the local cases were reported in the following areas:
- Region 3 with six cases
- CALABARZON with two cases
- Region 5 with one case
- National Capital Region with three cases
“All cases have been tagged as recovered but their outcomes are being validated by our regional and local health offices,” the agency said.
In total, the country has recorded 47 cases of Delta variant.
In the previous sequencing on July 15, 2021, the DOH said that 16 Delta variant cases were detected among five returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and 11 local cases.
Of the 16 cases, two died and the rest have completed their initial 10-day isolation period.
“Upon release of sequencing results, immediate contact tracing, quarantine, and RT-PCR retesting were done on all cases and their close contacts. Third generation contact tracing was also initiated,” the DOH said.
The eight Delta variant cases who were found positive during retesting were placed in isolation and their contacts remained in quarantine.
“With the detection of additional cases, it is crucial that we implement enhanced response immediately in the areas where these cases were detected and its contiguous LGUs as well as areas with case spikes with the premise that there may be ongoing local transmission already,” the DOH said.
Health authorities also reported the detection of 187 Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant cases, 142 Beta (B.1.351) variant cases, and 12 P.3 variant cases on the latest whole genome sequencing.
Of the additional 187 Alpha variant cases detected, 179 were local cases and eight are currently being verified if they were local or ROF cases.
Based on the case line list, 54 cases have died while 133 have been tagged as recovered.
This brings the total Alpha variant cases to 1,668.
The Alpha variant was first reported in the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, of the additional 142 Beta variant cases detected, 134 were local cases and eight cases are currently being verified if they are local or ROF cases.
Based on the case line list, 21 have died and 121 have recovered.
The total Beta variant cases are now at 1,827.
The Beta variant was first detected in South Africa.
Meanwhile, of the additional 12 P.3 variant cases detected, the DOH said that 11 were local cases and one is currently being verified if this is a local or ROF case.
All cases have been tagged as recovered, it added.
The World Health Organization previously reclassified the P.3 variant as “alert for further monitoring.”
It means that this variant is still being investigated and information is continually collected to monitor its public health implication.
With the detection of local cases with the Delta variant and other variants of concern in the country, the DOH reminded the public to strictly adhere to the minimum public health standards and continue to avoid enclosed spaces and mass gatherings.
“Continued implementation of the PDITR strategies and localized lockdowns, active case detection, contact tracing, completion of isolation/quarantine, and increased vaccination of the priority groups are necessary to control the further transmission of COVID-19 and its variants,” it said.
“The local government units are also requested to increase their samples for whole genome sequencing especially in areas with identified spikes of cases and clustering,” it added.