THE Department of Health (DOH) disclosed that the first case of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 in the country was detected as early as March, a top official said.
DOH spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the sample taken last March from a returning overseas Filipino with a travel history to China tested positive of the Delta variant instead of May as earlier pronounced.
“But during these times, itong mga panahon na nagre-retrospective sampling tayo, gumawa tayo nung October 22 na run at nakakita tayo ng mas maaga na detection ng Delta variant. And that was in March 31 of 2021,” Vergeire said during a briefing with the media.
The DOH reported that it detected the country’s first two cases of the highly transmissible variant in May from two overseas Filipinos with no travel histor to India.
There are about 6,612 COVID-19 cases with the Delta variant in the Philippines.
The Philippines has sequenced a total of 20,055 samples, of which 17,925 are assigned with lineages.
Out of the 17,925 samples, 36.89 percent were Delta variant-positive, 19.96 percent were positive for Beta, while 17.46 percent tested positive for the Alpha variant.