Nearly 400 additional coronavirus variant cases detected

FRANCE. Medical technicians prepare samples at the University Hospital Institute for Infectious Diseases in Marseille, southern France to study the highly contagious Covid-19 variant that has been discovered in the UK. (File)

THE University of the Philippines - Philippine Genome Center (PGC) has detected 382 more cases of Sars-CoV-2 variants in the country.

Of the 382 additional cases, 170 were B.1.1.7, 192 were B.1.351, one was P.1 and 19 were P.3.

These were among two batches of 25 samples sequenced on March 28, and 1,336 samples sequenced from March 28 to April 8.

These additional cases brought the cumulative variant cases in the country to 861 as of Friday, April 9, 2021, the Department of Health (DOH) said in a statement.

Of these cases, there remained two active B.1.351 patients and one P.1 patient. Two B.1.1.7 cases and three B.1.351 cases had died while the rest have recovered.

A total of 5,671 coronavirus-positive samples have been sequenced.

The B.1.1.7 variant was first detected in the United Kingdom while the B.1.351 variant was reported first in South Africa.

The P.1 variant, which is the dominant strain affecting Brazil, was detected first by Japan in four travelers from Brazil.

The P.3 variant was first detected in the Philippines. It is the only variant under investigation as studies on its transmissibility, pathogenicity and immunogenicity are still ongoing.

The rest have been classified as variants of concern. These have been reported to be more highly transmissible than the original strain and are likely to cause severe coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Studies are still ongoing on the efficacy of vaccines against these variants. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)


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