India Variant in PH: The Department of Health (DOH), last Saturday, detected ten cases of the B.1.617 SARS-CoV-2 variant – the one that originated from India. This brings the total number of cases of the variant to 12. Of the ten cases, one is a seafarer coming from Belgium while the rest of the nine are crew members of MV Athens Bridge.
About the B.1.617 SARS-CoV-2 variant. Also known as G/452R.V3, is one of the known variants of SARS-CoV-2. It was first identified in Maharashtra, India last October 2020 and has since been referred to as the double mutation variant. Last May 11th, the World Health Organization classified it as the ‘variant of concern’ as it showed evidence of higher transmissibility and reduced neutralization. This is also the variant responsible for India’s second wave that started in February 2021.
According to DOH, the seafarer disembarked in Belgium and flew to Manila via the United Arab Emirates. The person arrived in the country last April 24th and completed isolation on May 13th.
The other nine cases were from the 12 COVID-positive Filipinos onboard MV Athens Bridge. Four are admitted at a hospital in Manila and are in stable condition while the other five are in isolation. Read more: DOH detects 10 new India variant cases in PH, an article by the Philippine News Agency.
To date, the health agency records 13 more B.1.1.7 (United Kingdom) variant cases, seven B.1.351 (South Africa) variant cases, and one P.3 (Philippines) variant case from the 37 samples sequenced last May 14, 2021.
“While the government is implementing stricter border control measures, the DOH urges the public to strictly adhere to the minimum public health standards and immediately get vaccinated when it’s their turn. By following these measures, infection and further mutation of Covid-19 can be prevented,” a statement from DOH.