MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) yesterday reported the detection of additional variant cases in samples from COVID-positive patients.
DOH said an additional 266 B117 variant cases, 351 B.1.351 variant cases, and 25 P.3 variant cases were found by the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) from recently sequenced samples nationwide.
The additional cases brought to 658 the total number of the B117 variant which was first detected in the UK, 695 of B.1.351 first detected in South Africa, and 148 of the P.3 variant first detected in the Philippines.
According to the DOH, UP-PGC, and UP-NIH, P.3 is still not identified as a variant of concern since current data are “insufficient to determine whether the variant will have significant public health implications.”
Of the additional 266 B117 variant cases, DOH said 11 are returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), 188 are local cases, and 67 currently being verified if they are local or ROF cases. Based on the case line list, eight have died and 204 have recovered, while 54 are still active.
DOH said that of the additional 351 B.1.351 variant cases, 15 are ROFs, 263 are local cases, and 73 currently being verified if they are local or ROF cases. Based on the case line list, 54 are still active, four have died, and 293 have recovered.
Of the 25 additional P.3 variant cases, two are ROFs, 21 are local cases, and two are being verified if they are local or ROF cases. Based on the case line list, one is still active and 24 have recovered.
DOH reiterated 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, are still key to mitigating the continued transmission and increasing number of COVID-19 cases.