The country has detected an additional 678 new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) variant cases based on the report of the Department of Health, the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center, and the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health.
The 678 new variant cases were from the 744 samples sequenced by the Philippine Genome Center.
It comprises of 289 new cases of the B.1.17 variant, 380 cases of the B.1.351 variant, and nine new cases of the P.3 variant. It also noted that the B.1.617 or the “double mutant” variant from India has not yet been detected in the country.
Of the 289 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, 48 cases are from returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), 185 are from local cases, and 56 cases are currently being verified if they are local or ROF cases. Based on the case line list, three cases remain active while two have died and 284 have recovered.
For the additional 380 B.1.351 variant, 107 cases are from ROFs, 196 are from the local cases, and 77 cases are currently being verified if they are local or ROF cases. Based on the case line list, one case is still active and 379 cases have been tagged as recovered.
Of the nine additional P.3 variant cases, three are from ROFs, four are from the local cases, and two cases are being verified if they are local or ROF cases. Based on the case line list, all nine cases have recovered.
The agencies reiterated that the P.3 variant is still not considered as a variant of concern due to lack of sufficient studies that it can cause a significant public health implication.
The Health department also noted that B.1.351 is the most common variant among the samples sequenced with assigned lineages, contrary to reports that it is now the dominant variant in the country.
“To date, UP-PGC has already sequenced a total of 7,167 samples, of which 5,917 were assigned lineages. Among the samples with assigned lineages, the B.1.351 composed 18.2%, the B.1.1.7 composed 16.0%, the P.3 composed 2.7%, while the P.1 variant composed 0.03%,” it said in a statement.