DOH records more cases of coronavirus variants

(The Freeman) - April 19, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Health authorities reported Sunday that they have found more cases of the three coronavirus variants detected in the country.

In its statement, the Department of Health reminded Filipinos to adhere to minimum public health standards a day after the 203,710 active cases of the pathogen set a record high in the country.

Health officials recorded 11,101 additional COVID-19 infections Saturday afternoon, bringing the overall caseload to 926,052 in the Philippines which has been on lockdown for 397 days—the longest quarantine in the world.

"The DOH continues to reiterate that strict and consistent adherence to the minimum public health standards, increased support for the national vaccination program, and continued implementation of prevention, detection, isolation, treatment and reintegration strategies by local government units along with the imposition of immediate localized interventions such as granular lockdowns are still key to mitigating the continued number of increasing cases and the transmission of COVID-19," the department said.

B.1.1.7 variant

The variant of concern first detected in the United Kingdom saw 266 additions in the health department's latest update.

Of that number, 124 were cases from Metro Manila, while 49 were from Calabarzon and 11 were returning overseas Filipinos.  According to the DOH, 67 other cases were still up for verification.

"Based on the case line list, 8 cases have died and 204 cases have recovered while 54 cases are still active," DOH's statement read.

B.1.351 variant

The DOH also recorded 351 total new cases of the variant of concern first detected in South Africa.

Of the cases, 222 of were concentrated in the National Capital Region while 33 were from Region IV-A. Another 15 are returning overseas Filipinos and 73 are for verification.

P.3 variant

Of the 25 additional cases, eight were from the capital region while another eight were from Caraga.

"The DOH, UP-PGC and UP-NIH reiterate that the P.3 variant is still not identified as a variant of concern since current data is insufficient to determine whether the variant will have significant public health implications," the department said.

DOH last month said the presence of these variants is a factor in the surge in COVID-19 cases, though it has yet to say whether or not the variants are actually a main driver of cases.

Globally, 141.3 million cases of the virus have been recorded, leading to more than 3 million deaths according to latest data from the World Health Organization.

“Cases are rising for the past several weeks. These are worrying trends as we continue to see opening of societies and emergence of variants,” Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director of WHO South-East Asia Region said in a statement issued Friday.

"Basic public health measures remain the foundation of pandemic response and we need to reinforce them. We need to apply all the tools we have, and apply them together." — Philstar.com (FREEMAN)

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