Genome Center: COVID variants of concern only 9.9% from samples sequenced
MANILA, Philippines — The COVID-19 variants of concern only make up 9.9% of samples sequenced in the country, the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) said Tuesday.
PGC executive director Dr. Cynthia Saloma said a total of 4,751 coronavirus samples have been sequenced and about 4,050 were found to have lineages.
Out of these, 237 cases were of variant first found in the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7), 163 cases were the South African variant (B.1.351), 104 are cases of the variant found in Central Visayas, and one is a case of the Brazil variant (P1).
“Kung titingnan natin, sa kabuuan, ‘yung may mga lineages na assignment, parang mga 9.9% ‘yung mga variants of concern na naitala natin sa buong Pilipinas simula nung nag-genomic biosurveillance nitong Enero,” Saloma said in a Laging Handa public briefing.
(In the whole, 9.9% of the samples were variants of concern among the samples that underwent genomic biosurveillance since January.)
The Philippines is currently seeing an exponential increase of COVID-19 cases, prompting the government to place Metro Manila and four nearby provinces under the strictest form of quarantine protocols — enhanced community quarantine — for two weeks.
The World Health Organization earlier attributed the spike of COVID-19 cases to vaccine optimism and newer and more infectious variants.
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