No Delta variant detected in Central Visayas yet
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) said the increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases was not due to the presence of the dreaded Delta variant.
DOH -7 Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas, in a recent virtual press conference, said the region is free from the SARS-CoV-2 mutation that was first discovered in India earlier this year.
“Presently, we haven’t found any confirmed cases of the Delta variant in Region 7. Although these were reported in other regions but for now, our region remained free from any Delta variant,” said Bernadas in Cebuano.
However, the top DOH-7 official said they have continued conducting their bio-surveillance program in order to detect variants of concern here, including the Delta variant or also tagged as B.617.2.
A total of 978 swab samples from COVID-19 patients in Central Visayas were sent to the Philippine Genome Center to check if they were infected with this particular SARS-CoV-2 mutation.
But so far, only 101 samples have been returned and all tested negative of such variant.
Most of these specimens tested positive for the P.3 mutation, also known as the Theta variant, that first surfaced here in Central Visayas.
The rest had B.1.1.7 or UK variant, and the B.1.351 or South African variant of the virus.
Data from DOH- 7 showed that they observed a double-digit increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the entire Central Visayas, at 14 percent.
Latest COVID-19 bulletin from the regional health also stated that the region, as of July 19, has a total of 9,311 active cases of the infection.
On July 19, they registered 365 additional patients of COVID-19 of which 120 and 104 came from Cebu City and Bohol respectively.
In the meantime, DOH-7 told the public once again to always observe minimum health standards such as wearing face masks and physical distancing to avoid the rapid spread of the virus.
Central Visayas remains under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), the most relaxed form of community quarantine.
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