42 more in Western Visayas hit with Covid variants

Forty-two more Western Visayas residents, two of whom are from Negros Occidental and one from Bacolod, have been hit by three types of COVID-19 variants, the Department of Health (DOH) reported Tuesday, August 3.

The DOH said a Philippine Genome Center report released July 28 showed that 15 Western Visayas samples tested positive for the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant and 23 for the Beta (B.1. 315) variant.

Negros Occidental has a new Alpha variant case and a Beta variant case, it said.

These are in addition to the patient from La Carlota City found to be infected with the Alpha variant and a Cadiz resident who was hit by the Beta variant earlier, DOH regional epidemiologist Glen Alonsabe said.

Four samples from persons with addresses in Bacolod City, Iloilo City, Guimaras and Iloilo province were found positive for P.3 or the Theta variant, the DOH report said.

The Theta variant has recently been classified by the World Health Organization as variant under “alert for further monitoring “ because of its decreased and sporadic detection.

The Alpha and Beta variants are classified as variants of concern because of their increased transmissibility, the DOH said.

Of the 15 positive samples for the Alpha variant, seven were from Antique, four from Iloilo City, two from Iloilo province, and one each from Capiz and Negros Occidental.

For the Beta variant, 16 were from Iloilo province, two each from Iloilo City and Capiz, and one each from Aklan, Antique and Negros Occidental.

The DOH 6 is working closely with the local government units and their health offices to complete the case profile of the identified local cases, Dr. Adriano Suba-an, DOH6 regional director, said.

Contact tracing will be conducted to include first to third generation contacts as well as back tracing to determine the possible source of infection, he said.

The current health and vaccination status of those found to be positive for the COVID-19 variants is being verified, he added.

He again reminded the public to adhere to minimum public health standards, if possible to stay home to prevent the risk of transmission, and to get vaccinated when the vaccine is made available to them.*

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