Health officials confirm 52 cases of variants of concern in Zamboanga City | Inquirer News
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Health officials confirm 52 cases of variants of concern in Zamboanga City

/ 10:37 PM May 31, 2021
COVID-19 cases in the Philippines

FILE PHOTO: Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (greenish brown) heavily infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (pink), also known as novel coronavirus, isolated from a patient sample. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH/Handout via REUTERS.

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur—The City Health Office here confirmed to have detected 51 cases of the South African variant of SARS-CoV2 virus among the samples earlier sent for genome sequencing from the city.

Dr. Dulce Miravite, the city health officer, said that of the 257 samples sent by Department of Health to the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) on May 25, 52 were found to be cases of variants of concern, of which 51 were cases of South African variant and one a Philippine variant.

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“Of the 257 samples for genome sequencing, one case was of a Philippine variant, while the rest were South African ones,” the Zamboanga city government said in a statement after the genome sequencing results arrived on Sunday, May 30.

Of the 52 COVID-19 cases, 37 have fully recovered while 15 died. “Some of those who expired had co-morbidities,” Miravite said.

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DOH here has been gathering more samples from local cases for genomic bio-surveillance, including reported cases of reinfections and clustering of cases or deaths, Miravite said.

“We are accelerating contact tracing activities,” she added. “Prevent, detect, isolate, treat (infected patients) and reintegrate those who have recovered are the city’s focus in the COVID19 responses.”

The South African variant has been detected in at least 21 of the 98 barangays in the city.

As of May 30, the city has registered a total of 405 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Of the 232 COVID-19 deaths recorded from January to May 30 this year, the highest occurred in the month of May, which posted 147 deaths.

Miravite reiterated the call for stricter health and safety protocols at home and in public places. She also called for stricter implementation of quarantine protocols to stem COVID-19 transmission and slowdown the spread of the virus.

JPV

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TAGS: genome sequencing, samples, SARS-CoV2 virus, South African variant, Zamboanga City health office
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