GENERAL SANTOS CITY – A total of 47 cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) “variants of concern” here have so far been reported but the majority of the patients have fully recovered, health authorities said on Wednesday.
Dr. Rochelle Oco, city health office (CHO) chief, said at least four Covid-19 variants, including the dreaded Delta, have been detected in the area based on the results of their expanded biosurveillance in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) 12 (Soccsksargen).
She said they recorded 26 cases of the Alpha (United Kingdom) variant, seven of the Beta (South Africa) variant, nine Delta (India), and five Theta (P.3 or new variant).
Two patients infected with Beta and one with the Alpha variant have died, while the 44 others have all recovered.
A CHO report said 44 of the variant cases were classified as local, two involved returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and one was a local traveler.
The latest Covid-19 variant cases in the city, which included a case each of the Alpha, Beta, and Delta, were reported by the DOH-12 epidemiology and surveillance unit (RESU) on Oct. 14 as notified by the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC).
Oco said for the Delta variant, which was earlier cited by the DOH-12 as among the factors that triggered the surge of local cases in August and September, all nine patients have recovered.
“Their close contacts were properly quarantined and none of them have so far exhibited symptoms of Covid-19,” she told reporters.
The official said they continue to monitor the possible presence of the new variants in local communities through the expanded biosurveillance.
She said they immediately send suspected samples to the RESU, which then transmits them to the UP-PGC for genome sequencing.
Oco said they also observe the mandatory quarantine requirement for all returning OFWs and travelers from abroad even if they are fully vaccinated.
“The policy helped us a lot because we were able to detect several Covid-19 cases among those undergoing facility-based quarantine,” she said.
As of Tuesday night, DOH-12 reported a total of 468 active cases in the city, continuously decreasing from over 1,000 cases in late September.
Cumulative confirmed Covid-19 cases in the city since last year have reached 13,749, with 506 related deaths and 12,775 recoveries. (PNA)