The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday reported the detection of additional 21 Delta (B.1.617.2) variant cases, 309 Beta (B.1.351) variant cases, 288 Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant cases in the latest batch of whole genome sequencing conducted by the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC).

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that based on the latest run on October 2 comprising 749 samples collected from April to June 2021, 41.3 percent are Beta, Alpha (38.5 percent), and Delta (2.8 percent).

Vergeire said that the Delta variant is the most common lineage (24.5 percent) nationally.

Once detected in a region, it becomes the more common lineage, she said.

A total of 15,652 samples were already sequenced. Of these, 13,852 (88.5 percent) with lineages.

The Beta variant comprises 23.3 percent among all samples sequenced, making it the second most common lineage.

There were 2,559 or 20.6 percent or samples positive for the Alpha variant while 0.02 percent or three samples positive for the Gamma variant (P.1; Brazilian lineage).

“All regions and all National Capital Region (NCR) city/municipality either have Alpha or Beta variants detected. The Delta variant, initially detected from returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) is now detected in all 17 regions and all NCR city/municipality as well,” Vergeire said.

The P.3 variant, while initially observed in only one region, is now detected in all regions.

“Local cases of Alpha and Beta can be directly linked to an introduction by an incoming international traveler,” she added.

Of 930 returning overseas Filipino samples sequenced, 616 (66.2 percent) were positive for a variant of concern (VOC).

The DOH reminded that as cases with the Delta variant and other VOCs comprised the largest percentage of cases included for sequencing on this latest run, the DOH strongly reminds everyone to continue its enhanced PDITR (Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate) plus vaccination strategies, ramped up active case finding, contact tracing and testing, and strict adherence to the minimum public health standards across all settings to prevent the transmission of the Covid-19 and its variants.

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