DOH detects more cases of South African, UK variants of COVID-19

Published March 5, 2021, 2:45 PM

by Analou de Vera

Fifty-two additional cases of the South African variant of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been detected, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday, March 5.


Of the 52 cases who tested positive for the South African or the B.1.351 variant, 41 have “indicative addresses in the National Capital Region (NCR),” the DOH said in a statement.

The other 11 cases are still being ” verified if these are local cases or Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs).” “One case from NCR has recovered, while the remaining 51 cases are currently tagged as active and are being managed,” the DOH noted.

Currently, a total of 58 cases of South African variant of the coronavirus were found in the Philippines.

UK variant

The DOH also reported 31 more cases of the coronavirus variant first found in the United Kingdom or the B.1.1.7 variant.

The Health department noted that 28 of these cases “have indicative addresses in NCR, while three cases are being verified if these are local cases or ROFs.” All 31 were active cases, it said. The total number of UK variant in the Philippines stood at 118.

Cases with mutations of potential clinical significance

It was also noted that there were 42 additional cases with “mutations of potential clinical significance” or cases found to have both N501Y and E484K mutations.

The DOH said that “34 have indicative addresses in Central Visayas, six have indicative addresses in NCR, and two cases are being verified if these are local cases or ROFs.” The DOH, together with its regional offices, are currently coordinating with the different local government units in Metro Manila and Central Visayas “to institute measures to contain further transmission of these variants and mutations.” “Everyone is reminded of their individual responsibilities to follow the minimum public health standards at all times and in all settings,” the DOH said.

“The conscious effort of properly wearing a mask and face shield, and observing physical distancing will keep you and everyone around you protected from COVID-19,” it added.