(UPDATED) The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday, August 5, 2021, announced that 116 additional cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) with the highly contagious Delta variant have been detected in seven regions.
The University of the Philippines Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC) also detected 113 Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant cases, 122 Beta (B.1.351) variant cases and 10 P.3 variant cases in the latest batch of whole genome sequencing.
The 116 Delta variant (B.1.617.2) cases have indicated addresses in the National Capital Region (83), Calabarzon (3), Central Visayas (4), Davao Region (2), and Zamboanga Peninsula, Cagayan Valley and Ilocos Region, with one each.
One is a returning overseas Filipino (ROF) while 20 cases are being verified whether they are local cases or ROFs.
All cases have been tagged as recovered, the DOH said in a statement.
These brought the total Delta variant cases in the country to 331, with nine deaths and 11 active cases.
One duplicate case was removed from the tally. The DOH explained that one case was tested in two laboratories and both samples were sent to the UP-PGC for sequencing.
The additional cases with the other variants brought the total to 1,968 Alpha variant cases, with 119 deaths and 18 active cases, and 2,268 Beta variant cases, with 75 deaths and 18 active cases.
Of the additional 113 Alpha variant cases, 104 were local cases, one ROF, and eight are under verification.
Two patients died and 111 have been tagged as recovered.
The DOH also said an Alpha variant case tested from one laboratory had two samples that were both sequenced. The duplicate was removed.
Of the additional 122 Beta variant cases, 104 were local cases, four ROFs, and 14 cases are under verification.
All cases have been tagged as recovered.
Of the 10 additional P.3 variant cases, nine were local cases and one was an ROF. All cases have been tagged as recovered. There have been 276 P.3 cases, with three deaths and one active case.
The Alpha, Beta and Delta have been designated by the World Health Organization as variants of concern of Sars-CoV-2, along with Gamma (P.1), which was detected in two cases in the Philippines. The P.3 is a variant under alert for further monitoring.
Among the variants of concern, the Delta variant is the most worrisome because it is highly contagious and individuals infected with this variant produce a higher viral load that is over a thousand times more than that caused by the original strain.
The Delta variant has been detected in over 100 countries and caused near vertical epidemic curves in some.
As of August 4, the UP-PGC has sequenced 10,097 coronavirus-positive samples, which make up 0.62 percent of the Covid-19 cases in the country. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)