Bicol detects first local transmission of COVID-19 Alpha, Beta variants
LEGAZPI CITY — The Department of Health in Bicol has detected the first local transmissions of the more transmissible Alpha and Beta variants of COVID-19.
This was confirmed by the agency through a press release on Wednesday, more than three months after the specimens were brought to the Philippine Genome Center (PCG).
“These specimens were sent to PGC last April 14 and April 28,” according to DOH Bicol. “Results were received by the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) on July 21, 2021. Validation with the Local ESUs is done by RESU.”
The department added that all 11 cases of Alpha variants and 22 cases of Beta variants in the region have recovered from the disease.
The Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) was initially identified in the United Kingdom in the third quarter of 2020 while the Beta variant (B.1.351) was initially detected in South Africa last January.
Both variants are designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “Variants of Concern” (VOC) along with COVID-19 variants Gamma and Delta.
This is due to their increased transmissibility, increased virulence, and potential to decrease the effectiveness of public health measures, according to the WHO.
Six provinces in the Bicol region have recorded COVID-19 Alpha and Beta variants.
In Albay, including Legazpi City, eight Beta variants were detected.
In Camarines Sur, including Naga City, nine cases of Alpha and 12 cases of Beta variants were detected.
In Camarines Norte, one case of Beta variant was reported.
Sorsogon had one case for each of the variants.
Meanwhile, in the island province of Masbate, one case of Alpha variant was detected.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.