DOH, UP-PGC, AND UP-NIH CONFIRM ADDITIONAL COVID-19 VARIANT CASES

Press Release | 23 August 2021

The Department of Health (DOH), the University of the Philippines - Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the University of the Philippines - National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) today report the detection of 466 Delta (B.1.617.2) variant cases, 90 Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant cases, 105 Beta (B.1.351) variant cases, and 41 P.3 variant cases in the latest batch of whole genome sequencing. A total of 746 samples submitted by 62 collecting institutions and different Centers for Health Development (CHD) were sequenced.

ON DELTA VARIANT CASES:

Of the additional 466 Delta variant cases, 442 are local cases, 14 are Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROF), and 10 cases are currently being verified if these are local or ROF cases. Of the 442 local cases, 201 cases had indicated addresses in the National Capital Region, while 69 cases had indicated addresses in Central Luzon, seven in Cagayan Valley, 49 cases in CALABARZON, 14 cases in MIMAROPA, four cases in Bicol Region, 52 cases in Western Visayas, 19 cases in Central Visayas, six cases in Northern Mindanao, 11 cases in Davao Region, seven cases in SOCCSKSARGEN, and three cases in the Ilocos Region. Based on the case line list, one is still active, eight cases have died, while 457 cases have been tagged as recovered. All other details are being validated by the regional and local health offices.

The total Delta variant cases are now 1,273.

ON ALPHA VARIANT CASES:

Of the additional 90 Alpha variant cases detected, 89 were local cases and one case is currently being verified if this is a local or ROF case. Based on the case line list, one case is still active, one case has died, and 88 cases have been tagged as recovered.

The total Alpha variant cases are now 2,322.

ON BETA VARIANT CASES:

Of the additional 105 Beta variant cases, 101 were local cases and 4 cases were ROFs. Based on the case line list, four cases have died, 99 cases have been tagged as recovered, and two cases with outcomes that are being verified.

The total Beta variant cases are now 2,588.

ON P.3 VARIANT CASES:

The 41 additional P.3 variant cases were all local cases. Based on the case list, 40 cases have been tagged as recovered while one case has an outcome that is being verified.

The DOH clarifies that the government needs further evidence to support the announcement of the whole country to have community transmission of the Delta variant. However, community transmission was identified in Region IV-A and in NCR based on the following observations: 1. Large numbers of Delta cases and 2. Case investigations and phylogenetic analysis showed that these cases cannot be epidemiologically linked to each other nor source/s of infection determined. Analysis of the latest sequencing results for the determination of community transmission is ongoing for other regions. The DOH, the national government, and the local government units however have since responded as if there is already community transmission.

The DOH further reiterates that active case finding, aggressive contact tracing and testing, lowering the interval between detection and isolation/quarantine, strengthened PDITR strategies, vaccination, and the strict adherence to the minimum public health standards are the interventions in preventing the transmission of the COVID-19 and its variants.

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