India variant cases up

June 21, 2021 Lee Ann P. Ducusin 821 views

THE Department of Health (DOH) yesterday reported a total of seventeen cases of the detection of four additional cases of Delta (B.1.617.2) variant, or the COVID-19 variant first detected in India.

The DOH said this is after the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center, and the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health detected additional cases in the latest batch of whole-genome sequencing.

Three of the four additional Delta variant cases are Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROF) from the MV Eastern Hope, a ship currently docked in South Korea. Upon detection of the PCR-positive Filipino crew in South Korea, they were repatriated back to the Philippines last June 3. Two cases have completed the 10-day isolation after arrival in the country and were discharged upon certification of recovery, while one is still admitted in a hospital in Metro Manila.

Meanwhile, the fourth case is a ROF who arrived from Saudi Arabia on May 24. The case has completed the mandated isolation, tagged as recovered on June 10, discharged thereafter from the isolation facility, and is now under strict home quarantine as per protocols of the LGU of destination.

Meanwhile, the DOH also announced the detection of 14 Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant cases; 21 Beta (B.1.351) variant cases; and one Theta (P.3, Philippines) variant.

According to DOH, of the additional 14 Alpha or UK variant cases, 12 are local cases while two are being verified as to whether local or ROF cases. Based on the DOH’s case line list, two cases have died and 12 cases have been tagged as recovered. There are now a total of 1,085 Alpha variant cases in the country.

On the other hand, of the additional 21 Beta or South Africa variant cases detected, 20 are local cases while one case is being verified as a local or ROF case. Based on the case line list, 20 cases have been tagged as recovered and one case is currently active. The total Beta variant cases are now 1,267.

Lastly, the DOH said the additional Theta variant case is currently being verified as a local or ROF case. The case has already been tagged as recovered.

The DOH assured the public that biosurveillance activities for the detection of COVID-19 variants shall continue amidst the increase in cases in Visayas and Mindanao.

The procurement of reagents for whole genome sequencing for the rest of the year was initiated by a grant of P180-million by the DOH to the UP-PGC last May 2021. After undergoing the government procurement process, the reagents shall arrive at the UP-PGC this week.

“These reagents will allow the DOH, UP-PGC, and UP-NIH to sequence samples of COVID-19 cases regularly until the end of the year, ensuring that the government will have essential information in mitigating the spread of COVID-19,” said Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III.