MANILA - A Filipino seafarer who tested positive for the Indian variant of the novel coronavirus has succumbed to the disease last week, a health official said Monday.
Of the 9 MV Athens crew members who were infected with the B.1.617 variant - which was first detected in India - 1 died, 4 are still confined while the others have recovered from the disease, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online press conference.
"Iisa lang ang namatay at siya po 'yung crew member from MV Athens," she said.
(There was only one crew member from the MV Athens who died.)
"He is from Parañaque but hails from another province," she said.
The DOH has yet to confirm if the casualty was the same patient who had to be intubated last week due to the severity of the infection.
Aside from the MV Athens crew, 3 other overseas Filipino workers tested positive for the India variant, but have also recovered from COVID-19, the Undersecretary said.
While 3 of their close contacts tested positive for COVID-19, none of these were carriers of the India variant, which is more contagious and can get past the body's immune system, she said.
The Philippines has administered 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to safeguard health workers, elderly, persons with comorbidities and other vulnerable groups from contracting the disease.
The national government hopes to inoculate at least 50 million people this year to achieve herd immunity against the virus that has infected over 1.1 million individuals in the country.