MORE than eight of 10 coronavirus-positive samples included in the latest genome sequencing run were found to contain the Delta variant, bringing the total Delta cases nationwide to nearly 4,500, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Monday, October 18, 2021.

She said that out of 748 samples taken in September 2021, 633 or 84.6 percent had the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) while six cases had the Beta variant (B.1.351) and three had the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7).

The highest additional Delta cases came from Central Luzon (140), National Capital Region (107), Calabarzon (74), Cagayan Valley (74), Cordillera (71), Davao (33), Western Visayas (27), Soccsksargen (22).

A total of 15,168 samples have now been found by the University of the Philippines Philippine Genome Center (PGC) to contain Sars-CoV-2 lineages.

Among those found to contain a variant of concern, 645 samples were collected from returning Filipinos.

The Sars-CoV-2 variants of concern detected in the country are the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta.

The Delta variant, which can infect up to eight people, accounts for about a third, or 29.2 percent, Vergeire said. It has been detected in all 17 regions, and in all 17 local government units in the NCR or Metro Manila.

All 17 regions have also documented cases with either the Alpha or Beta variant, which are also more contagious than the original Sars-CoV-2 strain. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)