DOH: Delta variant detected in all regions except BARMM

DOH: Delta variant detected in all regions except BARMM
This undated handout image obtained March 28, 2021, courtesy of The National Institue of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/ NIH shows a transmission electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, isolated from a patient in the US, as virus particles are shown emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab, the spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles give coronaviruses their name, crown-like
Handout / National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 has been detected in all regions in the Philippines, except in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the Department of Health said on Thursday.

Dr. Alethea De Guzman, director of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, said in a briefing that BARMM is the lone region without a local case of the Delta variant.

This, however, does not mean that the “fastest and fittest” form of COVID-19 is not present in the Bangsamoro region.

"This is maybe because of the low number of samples that we get from the region," De Guzman said in Filipino.  

The country’s genomic sequencing capacity is limited, with authorities processing only a few thousand samples every week. Whole genome sequencing checks the presence of COVID-19 variants in positive samples.

The DOH on Monday declared there is already community transmission of the Delta variant in Metro Manila and Calabarzon.

Health authorities have so far detected 1,273 cases of the Delta variant in the country.

Alpha, Beta, Delta—all variants of concern—account for 59% of the samples sequenced in the country, data from the DOH showed. — Gaea Katreena Cabico


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