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17 more Delta variant cases detected

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
17 more Delta variant cases detected
Mandaluyong residents are seen in this July 14, 2021 photo waiting to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a mall.
The STAR / Boy Santos, file

MANILA, Philippines — The number of the highly transmissible Delta variant COVID-19 cases rose to 64 yesterday, following the detection of 17 more cases, 12 of whom were locally infected, the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday.

The DOH said the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) and the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health had also sequenced 11 new cases of the Alpha variant, 12 of the Beta variant and two of the P.3 variant.

Among the new Delta variant cases, a dozen had no history of travel abroad, one is a returning overseas Filipino (ROF) and four are still being verified, said the DOH.

“Of the 12 local cases, nine had an indicated address in the National Capital Region (NCR) and three were in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon or Region 4A),” the DOH added.

But only three cases remain active as the other 14 are already recovered.

As of yesterday, the tally of Delta variant cases in the country was 64, of whom 35 are local cases spread among Central Luzon with six; Calabarzon, 5; Western Visayas 2; Northern Mindanao, 6 and NCR with 16.

In Bataan, Gov. Albert Garcia confirmed last Friday that it had six Delta variant cases and quoted the DOH that another six cases were spread among Laguna with two; Pasig City with 2 and Manila and Taguig cities with one each.

Warning his constituents that the Delta variant is five to eight times more contagious than the original COVID-19 strain, Garcia said urged those scheduled for vaccination not to miss their shots.
Provincial Health Office chief Rosanna Buccahan said contact tracing of those who came in close contact with the carriers of the variant is underway as they await further guidance from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

Variants

Meanwhile, DOH data showed that out of the 11 new Alpha variant cases detected in the country, 10 are local cases while one is currently being verified if this is a local or ROF case.

The DOH said based on the case line list, one remains active, seven cases have died and three cases have been tagged as recovered.

The Philippines has logged a total of 1,679 cases of the Alpha variant first detected in the United Kingdom.

On the other hand, the 10 new Beta variant cases in the country are local while the three additional cases are currently being verified if they are local or ROF cases, the DOH said.

One of the cases is still active, two have died and 10 have recovered.

The Beta variant, first detected in South Africa, has been found in 1,840 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.

For the local P.3 variant, the two new cases have both been tagged as recovered, bringing to 235 the total cases detected in the county.

In Ilocos Sur, Governor Ryan Singson confirmed the presence of both the Alpha and Beta variants of COVID-19.

Citing the DOH report he received, Singson said the province has six Alpha variant cases spread among Vigan City with three; Cabugao with two and Sta. Cruz with one.

Of the five Beta variant cases in the province, three were detected in Cabugao and two in Vigan.

Barge crew

In another development, the DOH said samples taken from five infected seafarers from M/V Tug Clyde and Barge Claudia – docked off the shores of Albay – have been included in the next batch of whole genome sequencing to be conducted by PGC.

The DOH has reiterated the need to “ensure active case finding, aggressive contact tracing, increased risk-based and targeted testing and the immediate isolation/quarantine of suspect/probable cases and close contacts” to contain the spread of variants.

“The public is advised to strictly adhere to the minimum public health standards, get vaccinated and complete their doses as scheduled,” it said. – Ric Sapnu, Artemio Dumlao

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