DOH: Earliest Delta variant case in PH detected from sample collected in March
MANILA, Philippines — Health authorities were able to detect an earlier case of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the country from a sample collected in March, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the earliest detected Delta variant cases in the country were previously from samples collected from two returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) in May. However, she said that a retrospective sampling showed an earlier case was actually from March.
“We were first able to detect the Delta variant in the country last May 9 through our whole-genome sequencing. Ito ay dalawang returning overseas Filipinos na nagpositive sa (These are two ROFs who tested positive to the) Delta variant,” Vergeire told an online press briefing.
“But during this time, itong mga panahon na nagreretrospective sampling tayo, gumawa tayo noong October 22 ng run at nakakita tayo ng mas maaga na detection ng Delta variant and that was on March 31 of 2021,” she added.
(But during this time, we conducted a retrospective sampling and tested samples on October 22 where we detected an earlier case from March 31.)
Vergeire said the case detected from the sample collected in March was from a 47-year-old ROF with a travel history from China.
“Ito po ay nakolekta, inimbestigahan natin (We investigated this case). Ang individual na ito (This individual) was fully recovered and only reported mild symptoms and was able to complete the isolation period required,” she added.
In August, the DOH and the World Health Organization confirmed that the Delta variant, a highly transmissible variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that was first reported in India, is now the most dominant variant in the Philippines.
After cases spiked in August and September, the DOH said coronavirus infections are now on a decline in the country despite the presence of the Delta variant. There are currently 23,158 active cases of COVID-19, including only 1,297 new cases reported on Thursday.
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