(UPDATED) The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday, July 29, 2021, said 97 additional Delta variant cases have been detected along with 83 Alpha variant cases, 127 Beta variant cases and 22 P.3 cases.
These additional cases brought the total Delta (B.1.617.2) cases in the country to 216 while there are now 1,858 Alpha (B.1.1.7) cases and 2,146 Beta (B.1.351) cases.
The revised DOH list of cases per region showed that 32 new Delta cases were detected in Central Visayas, 25 in the National Capital Region, 10 in Eastern Visayas, 6 in Central Luzon, 6 in Calabarzon, 4 in Ilocos, 3 in Western Visayas and 2 in Davao. Six are returning overseas Filipinos (ROF) and three are being verified whether local or ROF.
The 45 cases in the three Visayas regions were the first Delta cases detected in the area.
Of the six ROFs, two are seafarers of MT Clyde and Barge Claudia, currently anchored off in Albay, and four are crew members of MV Vega that arrived from Indonesia.
Three had died, bringing the total deaths caused by Delta in the country to eight. Ninety-four cases have been tagged as recovered.
Of the additional 83 Alpha variant cases detected, 70 cases have been tagged as recovered while there are 13 cases whose outcomes are being verified.
The DOH said the latest Alpha cases came from: Ilocos (1), Central Luzon (3), Calabarzon (2), Western Visayas (13), Eastern Visayas (3), Zamboanga Peninsula (10), Northern Mindanao (1), Davao (11), Cordillera (22) and NCR (2). There were 15 cases for verification.
The additional 127 Beta variant cases came from Central Luzon (1), Calabarzon (5), Western Visayas (18), Eastern Visayas (7), Zamboanga Peninsula (19), Davao (25), Cordillera (24) and NCR (7). Twenty-one cases were for verification.
Of the additional 22 P.3 variant cases, 10 are local cases while 12 cases are currently being verified if they are local or ROF cases. Four came from Western Visayas, six from Eastern Visayas and 12 were for verification.
The Alpha, Beta and Delta lineages of Sars-CoV-2 have been designated as variants of concern along with Gamma (P.1). The P.3 lineage, which first emerged in Central Visayas, was formerly designated as a variant of interest, but was downgraded to variants with alerts for further monitoring as additional evidence is still being gathered on its global public health significance.
The DOH said local government units (LGUs) must "immediately crush clusters of infection" through active case finding, shortening the detection to isolation/quarantine interval to less than five days, tracing close contacts of suspects, probable and confirmed cases within 24 hours of detection, and implementing granular lockdowns.
The agency further emphasized the need to intensify the PDITR (prevent, detect, isolate, treat and reintegrate) strategy, enforce stricter border control measures and adherence to minimum public health standards.
The DOH also reiterated the need to accelerate vaccination of senior citizens and persons with comorbidities, who are at greatest risk of developing severe disease and hospitalization. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)