85.6% of COVID-19 positives recently sequenced have Delta variant – DOH

The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, September 13, reported that 85.6% or 640 of the 748 positive samples recently sequenced were found to have the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19.

The DOH said that of the new 640 Delta cases, 584 were local cases, 52 were Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROF), and four cases are currently being verified if these are local or ROF cases.

Virus epicenter Metro Manila has the highest number of Delta cases in the latest batch of genome sequencing results, with 112 cases detected.

"Based on the case line list, three cases are still active, 13 cases have died, while 624 cases have been tagged as recovered. Case details are being validated by the regional and local health offices," the DOH said.

The Philippines now has 2,708 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.

Aside from Delta cases, an additional 24 cases with the Alpha variant, 28 cases with the Beta variant, and five cases with the P3 variant were detected. 

On September 6, the Delta variant was also officially detected in all regions of the Philippines.  

The detection of more cases with variants comes at a time in the pandemic where cases continue to increase in the country as the government seeks to find new ways of opening up the economy after prolonged quarantine periods. The Philippines saw its highest single-day tally so far at 26,303 on Saturday, September 11. – 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.