Dr. Liland Estacion, Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force Incident Commander, said Thursday, June 24, that the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) that first discovered in the United Kingdom was found in a COVID-19 case in Tanjay City. The Theta variant (P.3) was also found in a separate case in Dumaguete City.
Estacion said both variants contain mutations that make the virus more transmissible.
Upon the instruction of the Department of Health (DOH), local health authorities have started investigating and contact tracing for the two cases found to have the new variants.
Cases of COVID-19 have been surging in Negros Oriental, which currently has the most active cases in Central Visayas.
As of June 24, Negros Oriental had 3,820 active cases, followed by Bohol with 1,715.
Negros Oriental and Bohol are the only provinces in Central Visayas with active cases breaching the thousand mark.