MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines has detected 380 more cases of the Delta variant as well as one case of the B.1.1.318 variant first detected in Mauritius, the Department of Health said Monday.
The Delta or B.1.617.2 variant comprises 30.29 percent of the country's 15,882 samples assigned with a lineage, according to DOH spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
Aside from the additional Delta variant cases, government's latest run of 746 samples last Friday also found 104 cases of the Alpha variant, first reported in the UK, 166 cases of the Beta variant, first detected in South Africa, and 1 case of the B.1.1.318 variant.
The patient is a 34-year-old male who returned to the Philippines from the United Arab Emirates last March 5 and recovered from the respiratory illness on March 21, Vergeire said. His local address was Bacolod City, Negros Oriental, she added.
B.1.1.318 was classified as variant under monitoring by the World Health Organization last June 2, the spokesperson said.
"It has 14 mutations in the spike region. Kasama po dito ang mutations na nakita sa Delta and Beta variant. Pinagaraalan po itong maigi ng WHO, ng mga international experts dahil itong mutations na ito ay maaaring makaapekto sa efficacy ng bakuna at transmission ng sakit," she told reporters.
(The mutations include those found in the Delta and Beta variant. The WHO and international experts are looking into this because these mutations might affect vaccine efficacy and virus transmission.)
"It’s a variant under monitoring. Wala po tayong cause to panic, kailangan lang po maging vigilant tayong lahat and follow our minimum public health standards."
(We have no cause to panic, we just need to be vigilant and follow our minimum public health standards.)
The 746 samples were collected in March, April, September and October and were tested to "trace the beginnings of Delta variant" in the country, Vergeire said.
It is important for the public to remain vigilant against new variants of the virus, said Dr. Rontgene Solante, head of adult infectious diseases at the San Lazaro Hospital.
"Whether you have this variant of concern, variant under monitoring, this can still cause surge of cases kaya importante pa rin na ingat at hindi kampante sa ating kalagayan," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo Tuesday.
(Whether you have this variant of concern, variant under monitoring, this can still cause surge of cases kaya so it's important to be careful and not be complacent.)