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Covid variants of concern detected in Region 6: DOH

Western Visayas recorded 38 cases of variants of concern and four cases of a variant under alert for monitoring, as per result of the whole genome sequencing released by the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center on July 28.

In a statement yesterday, Adriano Suba-an, Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development regional director, said among the coronavirus disease 2019 variants of concern were the 15 positive for the Alpha (B.1.17) and 23 for the Beta (B.1.351).

Four others tested positive for the P.3 (Theta) variant, classified as under “alert for monitoring” by the World Health Organization due to “decreased and sporadic detection”. However, the locations of these four cases are still being verified.

 “The Alpha and Beta variants, however, are classified as variants of concern due to its increased transmissibility,” he said.

The Beta variant cases were from the province of Iloilo with 16, two each from Iloilo City and Capiz, and one each from Aklan, Antique, and Negros Occidental.

The Alpha variant cases were from Antique with seven, Iloilo City, four, two from Iloilo province, and one each from Capiz and Negros Occidental.

The Theta variant positives have been tagged in the cities of Bacolod and Iloilo and the provinces of Guimaras and Iloilo.

Suba-an said they are now coordinating with concerned local government units to complete the case profile of the patients.

“Contact tracing will be conducted to include their first- to third-generation contacts as well as back-tracing to determine the possible source of the infection,” he said.

Last week, the DOH also announced that three local cases of the highly contagious Delta variant were detected in Iloilo City, Antique, and Cabatuan, Iloilo while one case currently in Manila, was tagged to Barotac Nuevo, also in Iloilo.

As of yesterday, Western Visayas recorded 960 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 based on results released by 16 of the 18 laboratories in the region.

The region’s active cases increased to 10,487 as per the regional case bulletin and the total cumulative cases to 86,408.

Aklan has the highest new cases with 595, followed by Iloilo province with 118, Antique – 63, Capiz – 62, Guimaras – 9, Negros Occidental – 27, Bacolod City – 19, and Iloilo City – 67.

Western Visayas also logged 619 fresh recoveries and 15 new deaths.

The total number of recoveries now stands at 73,926 and 1,974 recorded deaths.

The DOH, in its advisory, urged the public to always observe the minimum public health protocols, ensure enough airflow when in enclosed spaces, and, if possible, stay at home to avoid the risk of transmission.

It also encouraged eligible population to get vaccinated for additional layer of protection.*PNA

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