Davao region records new COVID-19 variant in 3 patients

Feb. 13, 2021

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Three people from Davao Region were among the latest patients reported to have been infected with the new variant of coronavirus, the Department of Health (DOH) announced on February 12.

The DOH on Friday said that there were 19 new cases with the B.1.1.7 variant, three of which are from Davao Region, two are from Calabarzon, eight are returning overseas Filipinos (OFWs), while the remaining six have not yet been determined whether they are local cases. This brings the total number of patients infected with the new variant to 44.

There’s no known link to each of the three people from Davao but they are experiencing mild symptoms, the DOH said.

The provincial government of Davao de Oro, in a statement posted on its Facebook page on February 13, revealed that two out of the three people infected are residents of the province.

According to them, the two patients identified are a 33-year-old male from Compostela and a 54-year-old female from New Bataan.

The provincial government added that the two have been under strict isolation since their swab test results came out positive earlier this month.

“Contact tracing is still ongoing. If there’s a need to release advisories of the places to be avoided or we would ask help in locating some people, we will,” they said while reminding their constituents to continue observing the minimum health standards.

Meanwhile, no other additional information has been issued regarding the other patient from Davao Region apart from it is a 10-year-old male.

In a statement, the DOH Davao Region said that they already called for an emergency meeting with the local government units involved “for a coordinated response.”

It also assured that ongoing intensive investigation and contact tracing up to third-generation or F3 close contacts is being done.

“All identified close contacts will undergo RT-PCR testing. Specimens that tested positive will be reviewed and selected samples that passed the laboratory criteria will undergo the whole genome sequencing at the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC). The identified close contact will also undergo strict quarantine,” the DOH-XI said.

The first reported case of UK COVID-29 variant in the Philippines was first recorded in mid-January.

Health authorities said that the B.1.1.7 variant, identified in the United Kingdom, is known to spread more easily and quickly compared to other variants of COVID-19.

Deadlier new variant

In the latest study ahead of peer review published on February 3, the new variant (VOC 202012/01) which first detected in the UK in September 2020 is more transmissible than the preexisting variants of SARS-COV-2 and more fatal as it may cause more severe illness. This new variant has already spread to multiple countries worldwide. 

Davao Region is still among the top regions in the Philippines with the most number of COVID-19 cases. As of February 13, the DOH recorded a total of 18,907 cases, 2,563 of which are active cases. There were also 15,570 total recoveries and 774 total deaths. (davaotoday.com)

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