MANILA - The Philippines has detected 17 additional cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant, bringing the case load for the highly transmissible variant to 64.
The variant, first detected in India, was attributed to the collapse of the healthcare system in the densely-populated nation, along with the uptick in cases in other Asian countries such as Indonesia and Thailand.
In a statement, the Department of Health (DOH) said 12 of the additional cases are local cases, while they are still verifying if the 4 other cases are returning overseas Filipinos or local cases. The last case is an ROF, the DOH said.
Of the local cases, nine are from Metro Manila, while 3 are from Calabarzon.
Three of the additional Delta COVID-19 variant cases were still active while 14 of the additional cases have been tagged as recovered.
This comes just a couple of days after the DOH confirmed local transmission of the Delta variant in the country, with experts warning of a pre-surge in some areas, particularly in densely-populated Metro Manila.
With the confirmation of the local transmission, authorities have resorted to placing Metro Manila and other Luzon areas under stricter general community quarantine (GCQ) measures for a week as an effort to curb the virus spread.
The DOH reiterated that the public should comply with minimum public health standards and complete their COVID-19 vaccine doses.
"The DOH emphasized the need to ensure active case finding, aggressive contact tracing, increased risk-based and targeted testing, and the immediate isolation/quarantine of suspect/probable cases and close contacts. The public is advised to strictly adhere to the minimum public health standards, get vaccinated, and complete their doses as scheduled," it said.
LOCAL CASES OF OTHER VARIANTS TALLIED
On top of this, DOH has also tallied 11 additional Alpha variant cases, 13 Beta variant cases, and 2 cases of the P.3 variant or the variant first detected in the Philippines.
Of the additional Alpha variant cases, seven cases have died, three cases have been tagged as recovered while one remains active.
All but one of the new Alpha variant cases are local cases, while they are still verifying if the other patient is a local case or an ROF. With the new tally, there are already 1,679 Alpha variant cases.
Ten of the 13 Beta variant cases are local cases, while the remaining three cases are still being verified. Of the additional cases of the Beta variant, first found in South Africa, 10 have recovered, two are dead, and one case is active. There are 1,840 beta variant cases with the new tally.
Of the P.3 variant cases, of which both have been tagged as recovered, one is a local case while authorities are still verifying if the other case is a local or an ROF case.
DOH also said they are including the samples taken from seafarers of M/V Tug Clyde and Barge Claudia in the next batch of whole genome sequencing.
-- With reports from Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News