Philippines lists 640 new Delta cases, Genome Center focuses on sequencing

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 13 2021 09:21 AM

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell (purple) infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (blue), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell (purple) infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (blue), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID

MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday confirmed 640 new Delta variant cases, giving the country a total of 2,708 patients infected with the more virulent COVID-19 strain.

Of these new Delta cases 584 were local cases, 52 were returning Overseas Filipinos, while the origins of 4 other cases are currently being verified, the DOH said in a statement.

Most of the new Delta cases were found in the following regions:

  • 112 in the National Capital Region 
  • 52 in Cagayan Valley
  • 49 in CALABARZON 

Two new Delta carriers were also detected in the Bangsamoro, the last Philippine region to confirm the presence of the more contagious COVID-19 strain.

"The total Delta variant cases are now 2,708," the DOH said.

Among recently sequenced samples, 3 Delta cases are still active, 13 cases have died, while 624 cases have been tagged as recovered, the agency said.

Due to this development, the University of the Philippines - Philippine Genome Center has decided to scale down its "RT-PCR testing services to shift their resources on the detection of COVID-19 variants through whole genome sequencing" since September 9, the statement read.

"The shift will lead to an expected increase in the sequencing capacity and detection of COVID-19 variant cases in the country in the succeeding months," it said.

The DOH has yet to answer queries on how how the shift in priorities would affect the number of RT-PCR tests done in the Philippines.

Aside from new Delta cases, the Philippines also listed 24 new Alpha variant cases, 28 additional Beta patients, and 5 new P.3 variant carriers.

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