Philippines detects 97 more Delta variant cases

The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday, July 29, reported the detection of 97 more cases of the highly-transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant, which is ravaging Southeast Asia.

The DOH said that of the new cases reported, 88 are local cases, six are returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), and six are still being verified whether these are local cases or ROFs.

The DOH also said that of the six ROFs, two are seafarers of MT Clyde and Barge Claudia anchored off Albay, and four are crew members of MV Vega that arrived from Indonesia.

"Ninety-four cases have been tagged as recovered and three were fatalities. The DOH is coordinating with the respective local government units to determine other information, such as exposure and vaccination status," the agency said in statement.

Of the new detected cases, 32 or 33% are from Central Visayas, according to the DOH.

The Philippines now has 216 known cases of the highly transmissible variant, but there are concerns that the actual number may be far higher, as the Philippine Genome Center is only sequencing a small percentage of the positive cases.

The DOH also reported the detection of 83 cases of the Alpha variant, 127 cases of the Beta variant, and 22 new cases of the P3.

This means that the country now has a total of 1,858 cases of the Alpha variant, 2,146 cases of the Beta variant, and 266 cases of the Theta variant.

Nearly a month after declaring the Philippines as "low risk" for COVID-19, the DOH on Thursday said that the Philippines is back to "moderate risk" classification due to an increase in infections.

Citing lack of "definitive evidence," the DOH on Tuesday, July 27, countered a claim that virus epicenter Metro Manila was already experiencing another surge in COVID-19 cases.

Despite experts' recommendation to put the Philippines under a "circuit breaker" lockdown, the government has kept virus epicenter Metro Manila and other areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) "with heightened restrictions" until August 15.

As of Wednesday, July 28, the Philippines has 1,566,667 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 27,401 deaths and 1,484,714 recoveries. Of the total, 54,552 are active cases or currently sick. – Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.

image