MANILA (UPDATE)— The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday reported over 200 additional patients who were carriers of COVID-19 variants in the country, including 8 who have died and 26 still considered active cases, as the country's virus variant detection capacity remains limited.
The agency reported new cases of the following variants:
- Variant from India - 1
- Variant from the UK - 104
- Variant from South Africa - 137
- Variant first detected in the Philippines - 4
The DOH said the additional case with the Indian variant (B.1.617.2), who has since recovered, was a returning overseas Filipino from the United Arab Emirates who has an address in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
The Indian variant is known to be aggressive and has ravaged India, where over 27 million have contracted the disease.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and Britain have classified it as a "variant of concern", along with variants first detected in Britain, Brazil and South Africa. Some initial studies showed the Indian variant spreads more easily.
The Philippines now has a total of 13 cases of the variant first detected in India.
The DOH said of the 104 new cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, 1 is a returning overseas Filipino, 89 are local cases, while 14 are still under verification.
A total of 3 patients have died due to the virus, 5 are still active, while 96 already recovered.
The country has 1,071 cases of the UK variant.
SOUTH AFRICAN VARIANT
Out of the 137 freshly-confirmed B.1.351 cases, 1 was a returning overseas Filipino, 127 are local cases, while 9 are currently being verified.
Nine cases are still battling the disease while 5 have died. A total 123 patients who were carriers of the variant recently recovered.
This brings the overall tally of the said variant to 1,246.
There are three fresh cases of the P.3 variant, and they have all recovered from the disease, according to the health department.
The country has logged 162 cases of the variant.
The P.3 variant, which remains as a variant under investigation, is not yet identified as a variant of concern since current data is insufficient to determine whether it will have significant public health implications, relevant agencies said.
As of Saturday, the country has tallied more than 1.2 million COVID-19 cases, more than 53,000 of which are considered as active infections.
The virus has claimed 20,722 lives in the Philippines.
With these figures, the Philippines has the second-highest COVID-19 infections and casualties in Southeast Asia, behind Indonesia.
— With reports from Reuters