South African COVID-19 variant now in PH

South African COVID-19 variant now in PH

A colorized scanning electron micrograph shows an apoptotic cell (blue) infected with Sars-COV-2 virus particles (green). Photograph: NIAID/National Institutes of Health/EPA


MANILA — Roll-out of the country’s vaccination program is now on its second day, that’s the good news.

The bad news is, the more contagious COVID-19 variant first seen in South Africa, is now in PH.

This was confirmed by the Department of Health Tuesday saying the Philippine Genome Center detected six (6) cases of B.1.351 otherwise known as the variant that originated in South Africa.

The South African variant was detected when the PGC conducted genome sequencing of samples from people who tested positive for COVID-19.

“While there is no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease, the pattern of mutations within this variant suggests higher transmissibility and may have an impact on vaccine efficacy,” the DOH said.

As of now, the DOH said there are three (3) infections that are considered local cases, two are returning overseas Filipinos, while one case is still being verified.

It was gathered the three local cases were reported as residents of Pasay City, of which two are active cases being managed by the agency. The third local case has already recovered.

The two OFWs arrived in the country from their work assignments in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Meanwhile, 30 new cases of the variant first detected in the United Kingdom were also recorded, bringing to 87 the total number of B.1.1.7 cases in the Philippines. (AI/MTVN)

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