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DOH reports hundreds of new Alpha, Beta variant cases

The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said hundreds of additional cases of the more transmissible Alpha and Beta variants have been detected in the latest genome sequencing run.

The DOH reported 264 more Alpha variant cases, 299 Beta variant cases, 16 Delta variant cases, and 55 cases of the P.3 variant first identified in the Philippines. 

The newly reported infections bring the totals to 1,481 Alpha cases, 1,685 Beta cases, 35 Delta cases, and 221 P.3 cases. The number of Gamma variant cases remained at two.

The DOH said the Philippine Genome Center has sequenced 8,557 samples to date, 3,424 of which tested positive for a variant of the coronavirus.

“We need to strengthen the implementation of our PDITR (Prevention, Detection, Isolation, Treatment, and Reintegration) strategies and expand the capacity of the local healthcare capacity to manage possible surge in cases,” it said in a statement.

“We also call for [the] public's cooperation to choose to be protected against COVID-19 by continuously following the minimum public health standards and through vaccination,” the DOH added.

DOH data showed that only 20 Alpha cases, 21 Beta cases, and one P.3 case remain active out of thousands of reported infections.

Meanwhile, 53 Alpha cases, 47 Beta cases, two Delta cases, and three P.3 cases have died.

The other 1,403 Alpha cases, 1,615 Beta cases, 33 Delta cases, two Gamma cases, and 217 P.3 cases have all recovered from COVID-19.

Only the Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Gamma variants are categorized as variants of concern. The World Health Organization earlier downgraded the classification of the P.3 variant from one “of interest” to an “alert for further monitoring.”

The Philippines has tallied nearly 1.5 million COVID-19 cases with over 1.4 million recoveries and 26,476 deaths as of Friday afternoon.  — RSJ, GMA News