Philippines reports 651 more Delta variant cases

Christian Deiparine - Philstar.com
Philippines reports 651 more Delta variant cases
Commuters queue for the carousel bus in Monumento, Caloocan on November 2, 2021
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine authorities reported 651 more cases of the hyper contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 on Monday from samples collected in past months. 

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing that the Department of Health is doing retrospective sampling to trace the origins of the Delta in the country. 

The latest run of whole genome sequencing had 748 samples that were collected from March to October this year. 

Of that, Delta accounted for 87.03%, Alpha or the variant first identified in the United Kingdom with 22 cases or 2.94%, and Beta which originated in South Africa with 15 cases or 2.01%. 

The Philippine Genome Center has now screened 17,292 samples with lineages. To date, total Delta cases in the country is at 5,982, Beta at 3,577, and Alpha at 3,128.

Vergeire said Delta remains the most common lineage detected in the country, making up 34.59% of the total samples sequenced. 

Experts had attributed the recent surge in coronavirus cases in the country to the Delta, where five-digit additional infections were seen in weeks. 

That uptick has since waned, and the government has eased restrictions including some for the first time since the pandemic hit, such as curfew in Metro Manila and the reopening of cinemas. 

New cases from new variants

But as more curbs are relaxed, authorities are also detecting cases from new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Vergeire said they detected the B.1.617.1 variant in a 32-year-old male from Floridablanca in Pampanga. 

This variant, formerly known as the "Kappa" was still classified as a variant of interest by the World Health Organization when the local case was seen in June. 

But the health official said the WHO has since downgraded it to a variant under monitoring by September.

Vergeire added the man had a mild case of COVID-19, and has recovered. 

"Further investigation is being done by our regional epidemiology and surveillance unit in order to gather more information on this case," she said, "and there is strict monitoring of this case and the community."

DOH also reported another case of the B.1.1.318, or the variant under monitoring that was originally detected in Mauritius. 

The agency detected the country's first case of this variant in October, but the patient's samples were collected way back in March. 

No further details were given on the new case of the said variant. 

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: December 4, 2021 - 5:20pm

Local and global updates on COVID-19 cases, outbreaks and containment efforts due to the highly contagious Delta variant, first identified in India. (Main image: Lockdown in Sydney, Australia in June 2021 by AFP/Saeed Khan)

December 4, 2021 - 5:20pm

The Delta variant remains dominant and experts, governments and vaccine makers are urging people to take advantage of booster jabs where they are available.

Delta has proved able to evade vaccine defences against transmission better than the Alpha, Beta and Gamma COVID-19 variants. 

But jabs have remained highly effective at preventing severe illness from Delta, lowering the risk of overwhelming hospital resources. — AFP

November 2, 2021 - 12:52pm

The DOH reports 520 new cases of the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant, bringing the total in the Philippines to 5,331.

October 22, 2021 - 10:15am

The new COVID-19 Delta subvariant has not yet been detected in the Philippines, the Department of Health says.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire says health authorities are monitoring 46 sublineages of the Delta variant, but “the particular Delta sublineage has not yet been detected among the COVID-19 positive samples sequenced in the country.”

Experts, however, are looking into the potential impact of the Delta AY.4.2. sublineage on transmissibility.

October 18, 2021 - 11:47am

The Department of Health reports 633 additional cases of the Delta variant.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire says the additional infections account for 84.63% of the 748 samples tested on October 16.

October 11, 2021 - 10:24am

The DOH reports 411 more cases of the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant in the country.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire says the new Delta variant cases come from 747 samples collected from February to September.

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