The Department of Health confirmed that more cases of COVID-19 variants have been detected in the Philippines.
According to DOH, 289 cases of UK variant (B.1.1.7), 380 cases ofSouth Africa variant (B.1.351) cases, and 9 cases of P.3 variant were found from 744 samples, based on the latest whole-genome sequencing report.
There are now 948 cases of UK variant, 1,075 South Africa variant, and 157 P.3 or Philippine variant were discovered. Only 1 case so far of the Brazil variant according to the statement.
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On the new cases of the UK variant, 48 cases are returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and 185 are local cases. Verification is ongoing to determine if the remaining 56 cases.
Based on the case line list, three of the patients have active infections while two have died and 284 have recovered.
While on the South Africa variant, 107 cases are ROFs and 196 are local cases. Authorities are verifying if the 77 other cases are local or ROF cases.
The DOH reiterated that unlike the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and the P.1 from Brazil, the P.3 variant is still not categorized as a variant of concern (VOC) since current data is insufficient to determine whether the variant will have significant implication to public health.
“The DOH also clarifies that B.1.351 is the most common variant among the samples sequenced with assigned lineages, contrary to reports that it is now the dominant variant in the country,” the health department said. (TDT)