MANILA—The Philippines recorded 21 new cases of COVID-19 Delta variant, raising its tally to 3,387, the Department of Health said Monday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the additional Delta cases were "retrospective" samples that date back from April to June 2021.
"These are retrospective samples because we wanted to complete our biosurveillance activities," she told reporters in a press briefing.
“Ibig sabihin ‘yung mga (It means the) samples (were) from the past months. If you will notice, our samples were from April to June kaya walang masyadong Delta case na nade-detect dahil hindi pa siya nakakalat noon dito sa atin (that's why there's no Delta cases detected because it has not spread) during that time that the samples were taken,” she later added.
Of 749 "retrospective" samples processed last Oct. 2, some 288 cases were Alpha variant (UK lineage) and 309 cases were Beta variant (South African lineage), according to the DOH.
The Philippines has so far processed 13,852 samples with lineages.
Of the figure, the more contagious Delta variant, which was first discovered in India, is still the most common lineage in the country. It accounts 24.45 percent or 3,387 cases of the total sequenced samples.
It is followed by the Beta variant with 3,229 cases or 23.31 percent and Alpha variant with 2,847 cases or 20.55 percent.
It was in June when the Philippines confirmed the first local cases of the Delta variant.
In the same briefing, Vergeire disclosed that the Philippine Genome Center was preparing to process 1,500 samples per week from its original capacity of 750 samples.
The PGC is also training teams for its satellite laboratories in the Visayas and Mindanao, which could be operational in November, she added.
"The Philippine Genome Center is looking at testing about 350 samples for [the] Visayas and Mindanao each so when we start the implementation, they can already help our operationalization," Vergeire said.
On Sunday, the country recorded 13,273 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the country’s total to 2,593,399.