The Department of Health (DOH), together with the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC) and UP-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH), reported the detection of 642 new cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant found in the Philippines.
In a statement on Sunday, April 18, the DOH reported the detection of 266 cases of B.1.1.7 or UK variant, 351 cases of B.1.351 or South African variant, and 25 cases of the P.3 variant first found in the Philippines among the 752 samples sequenced last week.
It said no additional case of P.1 or Brazilian variant was detected.
The Health department said that of the additional 266 cases of B.1.1.7 variant, 11 cases are returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), 188 are local cases, and 67 cases are currently being verified if they are local or ROF cases.
“Based on the case line list, eight cases have died and 204 cases have recovered while 54 cases are still active,” said DOH.
Of the additional 351 B.1.351 variant cases, the Health department said, 15 cases are ROFs, 263 are local cases, and 73 cases are currently being verified if they are local or ROF cases.
It added that based on the case line list, 54 cases are still active, four cases have died, and 293 cases have recovered.
As to the 25 additional P.3 variant cases, the DOH said, two are ROFs, 21 are local cases, and two cases are being verified if they are local or ROF cases.
“Based on the case line list, one case is still active and 24 cases have recovered,” the Health department said.
The DOH, UP-PGC, and UP-NIH also reiterated that the P.3 variant is still not identified as a variant of concern since current data is insufficient to determine whether the variant will have significant public health implications.
“The DOH continues to reiterate that strict and consistent adherence to the minimum public health standards (MPHS), increased support for the National Vaccination Program, and continued implementation of prevention, detection, isolation, treatment and reintegration (PDITR) strategies by local government units along with the imposition of immediate localized interventions (such as granular lockdowns) are still key to mitigating the continued number of increasing cases and the transmission of COVID-19,” it said.