Lambda COVID-19 variant not yet detected in PH: DOH
MANILA — The Department of Health on Monday said it has logged two more Delta (B.1.617.2) variant cases in the Philippines.
According to the DOH, the two cases are Filipino migrant workers who arrived from Saudi Arabia.
"Both arrived in the Philippines on May 29, 2021 and have completed the requisite 10-day isolation period. They have been discharged from the quarantine facility after being tagged as recovered," the department said in a statement.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said the Philippines needs to be more vigilant against the entry of the Delta variant in the country as it is 2 times more infectious than the Alpha, a COVID-19 mutation that is 60 percent more contagious than the virus' original strain.
Nineteen cases of the variant, which was first detected in India, have been logged in the Philippines, as of July 4, 2021.
The DOH also detected additional 132 Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant cases, 119 Beta (B.1.351) variant cases, and three Theta (P.3) variant cases. All of the Theta variant patients have already recovered.
The department noted most of the new variant cases were returning Filipino migrant workers.
Vergeire meanwhile said the Lambda COVID-19 variant has not yet been detected in the Philippines. She explained that they tested 7,000 samples for the C.37 variant, which was first detected in Peru.
"Rest assured that this variant is continuously being monitored by our experts. Currently, there is no evidence that it is more deadly compared to other VOIs (variants of interest) or VOCs (variants of concern)," she said.
According to Vergeire, the Lambda variant has a number of mutations in its spike protein, including the L452Q mutation in the same region as the L452R mutation of the Delta variant.
The DOH said only 20 COVID-19 variant cases, mostly Alpha, remain active.
"The DOH reminds all fully vaccinated individuals to continue following the prescribed minimum public health standards to ensure that transmission of COVID-19 is minimized," the department said.