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678 new cases of coronavirus variants detected in Philippines
Medical frontliners in personal protective equipment attend to patients staying at the lobby-turned-extension for the emergency room of the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center in Marikina City on April 29, 2021.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman

678 new cases of coronavirus variants detected in Philippines

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - May 4, 2021 - 4:22pm

MANILA, Philippines — Health authorities reported Tuesday they have detected 678 additional cases of three different coronavirus variants, including two considered as variants of concern.

Of these new cases, 289 are infected with the variant first detected in the United Kingdom known as B.1.1.7, while 380 are infected with the variant first identified in South Africa known as B.1.351.

The agencies also logged another nine cases of P.3, the variant first found in the Philippines.

This was the result of the latest batch of 744 samples that underwent genome sequencing.

The B.1.1.7 and the B.1.351 variants are classified as "variants of concern" due to their risk to human health. Both contain the N501Y mutation, which is associated with increased transmissibility, while B.1.351 carries the E484K mutation, which may help the virus dodge some antibodies.

The P.3 variant carries both mutations, but the Department of Health said it is still not identified as a variant of concern.

The DOH also said the variant that emerged in South Africa was the most common variant among the samples sequenced with assigned lineages. Among the 5,917 samples with assigned lineages, 1,075 or 18.2% tested positive for the B.1.351 variant.

Meanwhile, 16% had the B.1.1.7 variant, 2.7% had the P.3 variant, and 0.03% had the P.1 variant, or the one first identified in Brazil.

Breakdown of new cases

Most of the additional cases are local cases, the DOH reported. 

B.1.1.7

  • 48 are returning overseas Filipinos (ROF)
  • 185 are local cases
  • 56 cases are being verified if local or ROF  
  • Three cases with this variant remain active, while two have died and 284 have recovered

B.1.351

  • 107 are ROFs
  • 196 are local cases
  • 77 cases are being checked if local or ROF
  • All new patients with this variant except for one have recovered

P.3

  • 3 are ROFs
  • 4 are local cases
  • 2 cases are being verified if local or ROF

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
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