MANILA, Philippines — Health authorities have detected an additional 177 cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant, increasing the total to 627. The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday reported

FILE PHOTO: This undated transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, also known as novel coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S. NIAID-RML/Handout via REUTERS.
MANILA, Philippines Health authorities have detected an additional 177 cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant, increasing the total to 627.
The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday reported that of the 177, 144 are local cases and three are returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs). It said it is still trying to verify if the remaining 30 are local or ROF cases.
The health agency also noted that addresses of the 90 local cases are in Metro Manila, while 25 are in Calabarzon, 16 in Cagayan Valley, eight in Ilocos Region, two in Cordillera Administrative Region, two in Western Visayas, and one in Davao Region.
Based on the case line list, 173 cases have been tagged as recovered, one has died, and three cases are with outcomes that are being verified. All other details are being validated by our regional and local health offices, the DOH said.
The highly transmissible Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus also known as B.1.617.2 was first discovered in India. It is just one of several variants of the new coronavirus that was first detected in China’s Wuhan province in late 2019. SARS-CoV-2 causes the serious respiratory illness COVID-19.
Other variants of SARS-CoV-2 include the Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), Theta (P.3), and Lambda (C.37), among others. So far, the World Health Organization (WHO) tagged the Delta, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma as variants of concern or VOCs.
Virus mutations result in new variants of the SARS-CoV-2.
As for the presence of the Alpha variant in the Philippines, the DOH said it discovered 102 more of the variant, 94 of them are local cases while authorities were still trying to confirm if the other eight were local cases or ROF cases. The DOH said one Alpha variant case is still active while 101 cases have already recovered. As of August 12, Alpha variant cases in the country amount to 2,195. The COVID-19 Alpha variant was first observed in the United Kingdom.
The health agency likewise reported Thursday the detection of an additional 59 patients infected with the Beta variant, of which 53 are said to be local cases. The six remaining cases were still being checked whether those are local or ROF cases, according to the DOH. To date, one Beta variant case remains active as 57 have already recovered. The status of another case is still being verified. Total cases of the Beta variant in the Philippines reached 2,421 as of August 12. The COVID-19 Beta variant was first detected in South Africa.
Further, the DOH noted that the latest batch of whole-genome sequencing discovered another 14 cases of the coronavirus Theta variant 13 of them are local cases while the remaining one case is still being verified if it is a local or ROF case. Government data have shown that two cases of the Theta variant have died while 12 have recovered. So far, the country has logged 301 cases of the Theta variant that was first found in the Philippines. The WHO earlier recognized the Theta as a variant of interest but was downgraded to alert for further monitoring in July.
The DOH said that “the effects of the Enhanced Community Quarantine will take some time to be reflected in the case statistics and a continuous increase in the number of cases can still be expected in the coming days.”
For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.What you need to know about Coronavirus.For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
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.