THE Delta variant of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), is now the most common lineage among sequenced samples in the Philippines, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Monday, September 20, 2021.
Vergeire said that on September 18, 319 new Delta cases, nine Beta and 13 Alpha were detected.
This brought the country’s total Delta cases to 3,027, or 24.16 percent of the 12,773 samples sequenced.
“This variant is now the most common lineage among sequenced samples as of the latest whole genome sequencing run,” Vergeire said in a press conference.
A total of 2,734 Beta cases and 2,461 Alpha have so far been detected in the country.
“Since the detection of the first local Delta variant case was collected in May, an increase in the proportion of Delta variant cases were seen for the succeeding months,” she said.
“The increased proportion of these variants can be attributed to their increase transmissibility; however, sampling methodology also affects these proportions as samples from target areas are prioritized more,” she added.
The DOH said that as of September 19, there were a total of 178,196 active Covid-19 cases in the Philippines, and so far, a total of 2,366,749 Covid-19 cases have been recorded in the country.
Of the confirmed cases, 36,788 have died and 2,151,765 have recovered.
Vergeire said the number of deaths was increasing due to the spike in the number of confirmed cases.
She said the National Capital Region (NCR) plus areas, which include Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Quezon, reported a slight downward trend in cases, while the rest of Luzon is at a continuous uptrend. Mindanao and Visayas were plateauing.
“Looking at our epidemic curve, we see a new peak every week since the start of August. The average of cases in the recent week is twice as much as the average of cases in the peak we saw last April,” said Vergeire.
“Nationally, we remain to be at high-risk classification with a positive two-week growth rate at 18 percent and a high risk average daily attack rate at 18.56 cases per every 100,000 population,” she added.
A decrease in two-week growth rate was noted in the NCR, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Central Luzon, Caraga, Davao and Ilocos region, Zamboanga Peninsula, Mimaropa and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm).
Majority maintain a positive growth rate, while Central Visayas and Northern Mindanao show a negative two-week growth rate.
Vergeire said the country’s bed and intensive care unit utilization remains at high risk, with 71 to 77 percent utilization. (SunStar Philippines)