PH detects first case of B.1.617.1 variant, more Delta cases

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 08 2021 04:09 PM

Transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID
Transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID

MANILA - The Philippines has detected a case of a COVID-19 variant formerly called Kappa that was first reported in India and another case of the variant first recorded in Mauritius.

The B.1.617.1 variant, a sublineage of the Delta variant first detected in India, is classified as a variant under monitoring by the World Health Organization beginning Sep. 20, Health Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosairo Vergeire said. It was previously classified as a variant of interest, she added.

The B.1.617.1 variant is not the same as the Delta subvariant AY.4.2, according to Vergeire.

"Up until now, based from our latest sequencing results, wala pa ho tayong nadedetect na ganitong sublineage sa ating bansa," she said.

(Up until now, based from our latest sequencing results, we have yet to detect this sublineage in the country.)

Authorities detected the B.1.617.1 variant in a 32-year-old patient from Floridablanca, Pampanga who experienced a mild case and has since recovered, Vergeire said. The patient's sample was collected on June 2, she added.

"Further investigation is being done by the regional epidemiology and surveillance unit," she said.

The country also detected another case of the B.1.1.318 variant first detected in Mauritius in some 748 samples that underwent genome sequencing on Nov. 6, Saturday. The samples were from March, April, May, June, September, and October, Vergeire said.

A total of 651 Delta cases were detected, 22 more cases of the Alpha variant, and 15 more cases of the Beta variant, she added.

Delta remains the prevalent variant, comprising 5,982 or 34.59 percent of the 17,292 samples with lineages, according to the spokesperson.