Experts confirm detecting 18 more UK-variant cases; 3 samples seen with mutations

Maris Federez   •   February 22, 2021   •   251

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH), the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the UP-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) on Sunday confirmed to have detected 18 additional B.1.1.7 or UK variant cases among the 7th batch of 757 samples sequenced by the UP-PGC on February 18.

According to the DOH advisory, the additional number brings the total B.1.1.7 variant cases in the country to 62.

The joint DOH, UP-PGC, and UP-NIH report further said that an additional sample from Region 7 belonging to the last (6th) genome sequencing batch was found to have both N501Y and E484K mutations, while two among the 80 Region 7 samples sequenced in the 7th batch were also found to have both mutations, bringing the total to 34.

Thirteen of the B.1.1.7 cases are Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) who entered the country between January 3 to 27 and three are from the Cordillera Administrative Region. The other two are still currently being verified if they are local cases or ROFs.

The health department said the 13 ROF cases are now tagged as recovered. The DOH is currently investigating their compliance to isolation protocols and the contact tracing done for them.

Meanwhile, two of the three cases from CAR, both 12-year-old males, are connected to the original cluster from Samoki, Bontoc, Mountain Province. The third case, a 41-year-old female, is connected to the first La Trinidad cluster.

The DOH said, all the cases are now tagged as recovered and all close contacts have completed quarantine following immediate contact tracing and isolation to swiftly contain transmission among the Bontoc and La Trinidad clusters.

Meanwhile, the Center for Health Development Central Visayas has been notified of the additional cases found with mutations and investigation is now underway to aid in curbing transmission.

Case investigation and contact tracing for these new detections have also been jointly initiated by the DOH through the Bureau of Quarantine, Centers for Health Development, and regional epidemiology and surveillance units (RESU).

The DOH said they are in close coordination with concerned LGUs, local health offices, local epidemiology and surveillance units, and law enforcement authorities regarding this development.

The health department said that they, along with the UP-PGC and UP-NIH, are preparing to submit these new findings to the World Health Organization and the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID).

This move is seen to aid in the ongoing global effort to track and study new and emerging genomic changes in the SARS-COV-2 virus, which vaccine manufacturers may use to recalibrate vaccines and ensure efficacy against COVID-19, the DOH said.

The DOH calls on concerned LGUs where cases with the variant of concern and mutations with potential clinical significance have been detected to closely monitor their respective local situations and implement measures in accordance with the national PDITR strategy as needed.

This could be by way of localized lockdowns, active case finding, immediate contact tracing, and isolation/quarantine.

The DOH reiterated to the LGUs the necessity to immediately flag sharp upticks in cases to the DOH in order to activate targeted biosurveillance activities.

The DOH further stressed that “as long as COVID-19 transmission persists, our strengthened biosurveillance will continue to detect mutations.”

“The DOH emphasizes the need to strictly practice and enforce minimum public health standards in order to lower infection rates and consequently reduce the risk of mutations of potential clinical and epidemiological significance. The goal is to bring down transmission rates to levels where biosurveillance can no longer detect mutations of interest,” it concluded. —/mbmf

Philippines logs 8,122 new COVID-19 infections

Robie de Guzman   •   April 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Wednesday recorded 8,122 new novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections, bringing the total tally to 892,880, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

In its bulletin, the DOH said the latest figure pushed the country’s total active cases to 173,047.

The agency, however, noted that the tally does not include data from 12 laboratories that failed to submit their reports on time.

It further explained that the low case count is due to the low testing output of laboratories on April 12.

The DOH also announced that the total recoveries rose to 704,386 after 501 more patients recovered from the viral respiratory disease.

The death toll climbed to 15,447 with 162 new fatalities.

Philippines posts 8,571 new COVID-19 infections

Robie de Guzman   •   April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Tuesday recorded 8,571 more novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections, bringing the total caseload to 884,783, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

In its 4:00 p.m. bulletin, the DOH said the latest tally pushed the country’s total active cases to 165,534.

The agency, however, noted that the tally does not include data from nine laboratories that failed to submit their reports on time.

Ngayong 4 PM, Abril 13, 2021, ang Department of Health ay nakapagtala ng 8,571 na karagdagang kaso ng COVID-19….

Posted by Department of Health (Philippines) on Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The DOH also reported that total recoveries rose to 703,963 after 400 more patients recuperated from the viral disease.

The death toll climbed to 15,286 with 137 new fatalities.

PH posts 11,378 new COVID-19 cases

Robie de Guzman   •   April 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Monday recorded 11,378 new novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, pushing the total tally to 876,225, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

In its bulletin, the DOH said the latest tally brought the total active cases to 157,451.

The DOH, however, noted that the figure does not include data from six laboratories that failed to submit their reports on time.

This is the fourth straight day that the country registered more than 11,000 new coronavirus cases.

Ngayong 4 PM, Abril 12, 2021, ang Department of Health ay nakapagtala ng 11,378 na karagdagang kaso ng COVID-19….

Posted by Department of Health (Philippines) on Monday, April 12, 2021

The DOH also reported that the total number of recoveries increased to 703,625 after 267 more patients recuperated from the viral respiratory disease.

The death toll climbed to 15,149 with 204 new fatalities.

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