Genome Center: COVID-19 variants found in nearly 10 percent of samples


Posted at Apr 06 2021 09:08 PM

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The Philippine Genome Center said on Tuesday it found COVID-19 variants in nearly 10 percent of samples it had sequenced. 

PGC executive director Dr. Cynthia Saloma said 4,050 out of 4,751 samples sequenced since January showed "lineage." 

Of this number, 237 were the variant first detected in the United Kingdom, 163 cases were the South African variant, 104 were cases of the variant found in Central Visayas, and one is a case of the Brazil variant, she said. 

"Sa kabuuan, iyong may mga lineages na assignment, parang mga 9.9 percent po iyong mga variants of concern na naitala natin sa buong Pilipinas simula nung nag-genomic bio-surveillance nitong Enero," Saloma said in a public briefing.

(In total, the lineages of assignment, the variants of concern that we tallied in the whole Philippines since we started the genomic bio-surveillance in January was at 9.9 percent.)

A "combination of factors" that fueled a recent surge in coronavirus infections includes the COVID-19 variants, higher complacency and vaccine confidence, said Saloma.

Metro Manila and surrounding Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal provinces are under enhanced community quarantine, the strictest of four lockdown levels, until April 11 to curb the uptick in COVID-19 cases.