MANILA, Philippines — Philippine health authorities on Sunday detected 55 more cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 to bring the country’s total to 119.
The Department of Health said 37 of these are local cases, while 17 are returning Filipinos from abroad.
Officials are still identifying if the last one remaining is a local case or an individual from overseas.null
DOH added that, from the new local cases, 14 are from Calabarzon while eight are from Northern Mindanao.
Six, meanwhile, had indicated address in Metro Manila, another six in Central Luzon, two in Davao Region and one in Ilocos Region.
The health agency also reported that one of the additional cases has died. This brings the count of fatalities to four.
All 54 have since been tagged as recovered, with 12 active cases remaining.
The detection of more Delta cases comes as authorities officially declared local transmission of the variant at home. null
DOH attributed the consecutive release of genome sequencing results in the past week to more resources for biosurveillance.
“Samples with more recent collection dates and those from areas with spikes were prioritized to determine the presence and spread of these variants in these areas,” it said.
Apart from Delta infections, the Philippines also saw 179 new cases of the Beta, or the variant first detected in South Africa.
There were also 94 more cases of the Alpha, or that first seen in the United Kingdom, as well as nine of the P.3, the homegrown since downgraded to variants “under alerts for monitoring.”
“With the establishment of the local transmission of the Delta variant, we need a swifter implementation of our response strategies,” authorities said.
DOH also urged local governments to immediately contain observed increase in COVID-19 cases through granular lockdowns and stronger implementation of detection and isolation protocols.
The government has moved to place Metro Manila under a stricter general community quarantine along with four areas until end of the month following the development.
Reporting by Patricia Elise Monsod