THE Department of Health (DOH) said all 17 regions in the country are now affected by either the Alpha or Beta variant, while 13 regions have confirmed Delta variant cases.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, in his report to President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday evening, August 9, 2021, said more than half, or 54 percent, of the 9,025 coronavirus-positive samples found to have lineages contained the Alpha, Beta and Delta variants.
These are three of the four variants of concern (VOC) of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
The fourth VOC is Gamma, or P.1 from Brazil. There have been only two cases in the country.
The P.3, meanwhile, has spread to 14 regions. This variant, which has been downgraded to variants with alerts for further monitoring, was first detected in Central Visayas.
Duque said local cases of Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Beta (B.1.351) can be “directly linked to an introduction by an incoming international traveler.”
A total of 721 samples collected from returning overseas Filipinos. Of this number, 423 or 59 percent were found positive for a variant of concern.
The Delta variant (B.1.617.2), which is the most worrisome variant because of its high transmissibility and ability to evade immunity, has been detected in the following: National Capital Region (146); Calabarzon (47); Central Visayas (37); Central Luzon (39); Northern Mindanao (22): Ilocos (5), Cagayan Valley (1), Bicol (1), Western Visayas (36), Eastern Visayas (11), Zamboanga Peninsula (3), Davao (6) and Cordillera (1).
All 16 cities and one municipality in the NCR have also been affected by the Delta variant.
As of August 5, the University of the Philippines Philippine Genome Center has detected 2,093 cases with Alpha, 2,362 cases with Beta, 450 cases with Delta, 2 Gamma cases and 287 cases with P.3.
More than 200 variant cases had died: 122 from Alpha, 82 from Beta, 10 from Delta) and three from P.3.
There remained 18 active Alpha cases, 18 Beta cases 12 Delta cases and one P.3 cases.
A total of 10,473 samples have been sequenced. These constitute around 0.64 percent of the 1,627,816 cumulative Covid-19 cases nationwide as of August 5. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)