DOH logs 411 more Delta variant cases in sampling


The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday reported the detection of additional 411 Delta (B.1.617.2), 78 Beta (B.1.351), 88 Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant cases in the latest batch of whole genome sequencing conducted by the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the latest run on October 8 was comprised of 747 samples collected in February, April, May, August and September of 2021 wherein 55.0 percent were found to be positive with Delta variants; Alpha, 11.8 percent, and Beta, 10.4 percent.

“We are doing retrospective sampling to trace the beginnings of the Delta variant introduction to the country as well as the earliest cases,” Vergeire said in an online media forum, noting that April and May samples were added because “we don’t have sequencing kits then” and that the DOH wanted to “fill in” such gap in sequencing for these “critical” months.

Of the 14,517 samples or 88.52 percent with lineages as of October 8, it showed that 26.2 percent or 3,798 were positive with the Delta variant, while Beta variant comprises 22.8 percent or 3,307; there were 20.2 percent or 2,935 for Alpha variant, and 0.02 percent or three samples positive for the Gamma variant (P.1; Brazilian lineage).

Delta is the most common lineage nationally among sequenced samples, while Beta is the second most common lineage.

Vergeire said all regions and all National Capital Region (NCR) cities/municipality either have Alpha or Beta variants detected.

“The Delta variant, initially detected from returning overseas Filipinos [ROFs], is now detected in all 17 regions and all NCR cities/municipality as well,” she said.

The P.3 variant, while initially observed in only one region, is now detected in all regions.

Vergeire said that local cases of Alpha and Beta could be directly linked to an introduction by an incoming international traveler.

Of the 945 ROF samples sequenced, 630 (66.7 percent) were positive for a variant of concern.

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