Philippine health authorities have detected the UK variant of the COVID-19 virus in 19 more cases, bringing the total to 44.
According to the Department of Health, the additional cases were part of the sixth batch of 718 samples that were sequenced by the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center on February 8.
“The sixth batch of samples were sourced from all regions, except BARMM, and were selected to ensure representation of each region as well as areas where spikes in cases have been reported,” the DOH said.
According to the DOH, three of the additional cases are composed of a 10-year-old male, a 54-year-old female, and a 33-year-old male, who have indicated current addresses in Region XI. They are all active cases with mild symptoms.
Two of the cases have indicated a current address in CALABARZON.
One is a 20-year-old female who has swabbed on December 22, 2020 and has unknown exposure while the other one is a 76-year-old female who was exposed to a positive case last January 21.
The DOH said that eight are returning overseas Filipinos, four of which are males and four are females. The patients are aged between 28 and 53.
Six of the patients are in isolation facilities while two have recovered.
Meanwhile, authorities are still verifying if the last six additional cases are local cases or returning overseas Filipinos.
The DOH said it will immediately initiate contact tracing and case investigation.
At present, the Philippines has reported a total of 545,300 cases.-Joahna Lei Casilao/NB, GMA News