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Philippines reports 97 more Delta variant cases; total now 216

The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday reported 97 more cases of the highly infectious Delta coronavirus variant, raising the total to 216.

The DOH said 88 of the newly reported cases are local, six are returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), while three other cases are still under verification.

The new local cases were recorded in Region 1 (4 cases), Region 3 (6 cases), Region 4A (6 cases), Region 6 (3 cases), Region 7 (32 cases), Region 8 (10 cases), Region 11 (2 cases), and Metro Manila (25 cases).

Among the six ROFs, two are seafarers from MT Clyde and Barge Claudia, the vessel currently docked off Albay province, while four are crew members of the MV Vega that arrived from Indonesia. 

The DOH said 94 of the latest Delta variant cases have been tagged as recovered and three have died.

“The DOH is coordinating with the respective local government units to determine other information, such as exposure and vaccination status,” it said.

Other variants

Meanwhile, 83 more Alpha variant cases and 127 Beta variant cases were also detected in the latest genome sequencing run, bringing the national total to 1,856 Alpha cases and 2,146 Beta cases.

Among the newest Alpha cases, 68 are local and 15 are still under verification. One case has died and the 82 others have recovered.

Out of the 127 new Beta cases, 106 are local and 21 are under verification. One case remains active, three have died, and 121 have been tagged as recovered.

The DOH also reported 22 more cases of the P.3 variant first detected in the Philippines.

“Following the detection of additional cases with variants of concern, it is imperative for local government units to immediately crush clusters of infection and observed increases in cases in their respective jurisdictions to reduce transmission,” the agency said.

Metro Manila mayors are set to ask the government’s inter-agency COVID-19 task force to tighten restrictions in the capital region amid the threat of the Delta variant.

Back to moderate risk

Earlier in the day, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Philippines was once again elevated to the moderate-risk classification due to an increase in COVID-19 cases observed in mid-July after a slowdown in cases.”

The Philippines’ two-week case growth rate rose to 1% during July 11 to 24 from -10% during June 27 to July 10. The national average daily attack rate (ADAR) also increased to 4.95 cases per 100,000 population.

The country averaged 6,029 new infections daily from July 22 to 28, higher than the previous week’s average of 5,576 new cases.

Despite this, the utilization rates of hospital and ICU beds remained in the safe zone at 48.96% and 58.64%, respectively.   —KBK/LDF, GMA News