The Department of Health reported that 53 more cases of South Africa COVID-19 variant and 31 additional UK variant have been detected in the Philippines.
According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) detected the latest cases in the ninth batch of genome sequencing conducted.
“Nakapagtala po ng 52 additional B.1.351 variant, ito ‘yung kinilala bilang South Africa variant. Meron po tayong 31 additional B.1.1.7 variant, ito naman ‘yung UK variant and 42 additional cases with mutations of potential clinical significance,” he said in a briefing.
The total number of South Africa COVID-19 variant cases in the country is now 58 and 118 for the UK variant. Meanwhile, cases with mutations are now 76.
“Forty out of 41 naman sa NCR cases ang active, ‘yung isa po ay recovered na,” he said.
Meanwhile, 28 of the 31 new UK variant cases are from Metro Manila and three are still for verification. All newly reported cases are still active.
Among the 42 new cases with mutations of concern, six are from Metro Manila, 34 are from Central Visayas, and two are still under verification.
DOH records 52 more cases of South Africa COVID-19 variant
“Twenty-two of the 34 cases from Region 7 are now recovered. Meanwhile, the remaining 12 Region 7 cases, all 6 NCR cases, and both cases being verified are tagged as active cases,” the DOH said.
Meanwhile, is trying to allay the fears of some experts regarding the alleged low efficacy of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine against the B1.351 or South Africa COVID-19 variant that has already entered the Philippines.
Yesterday, Fr. Nicanor Austriatico, a biologist and fellow of the OCTA Research Group, said the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine only has 10% against the South African variant which already entered the country. OCTA Research based the rate on a new study abroad published in February.
He said the 17 million doses of AstraZeneca purchased by the government will be wasted if the “South African variant” is not controlled, especially since it is said to be ineffective here. But Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the results of the study are not yet conclusive.