MANILA - The Department of Health on Saturday reported more cases of COVID-19 variant first detected in the Philippines, UK and South Africa as the country continued to battle a surge in infections in the Greater Manila area.
The agency, in a statement, said there were an additional 25 cases of the P.3 variant, which was first reported in the Philippines; 351 more cases of the B.1.351 or South African variant; and 266 more cases of the B.1.1.7 or UK variant.
Of the P.3 variant cases, 21 were local cases, 2 were returning Filipino migrant workers, and the remaining have yet to be verified. One patient has an active infection while the rest have recovered, the DOH said.
The P.3 is still not identified as a variant of concern due to "insufficient current data," it added.
In total, 148 cases of the P.3 variant have been detected in the country, as of April 9.
Of the additional B.1.351 variant cases, 263 were local, 75 have yet to be verified, and 15 were returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), according to the DOH. Fifty-four infections remain active, while 293 patients have recovered and 4 have died.
The country as recorded a total of 695 cases, so far, of the B.1.351 variant.
Meanwhile, 188 of the newly reported B.1.1.7 variant cases were local, 67 have yet to be verified, and 11 were ROFs, the DOH said. Fifty-four patients have active infection, while 293 have recovered and 4 have died.
There are a total of 658 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant in the country.
The DOH reiterated "strict and consistent adherence" to the minimum public health standards and "increased support" for COVID-19 vaccines.
Immediate localized interventions such as granular lockdowns are key to mitigating virus transmission, it added.
The Philippines on Saturday reported 11,101 more COVID-19 cases, bringing its total to 926,052. Of this figure, 203,710 are active infections.
It was forecast by the OCTA Research Group to breach the 1 million mark by the end of the month.