PH Genome Center detects new COVID-19 variants

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THE Department of Health (DOH), the UP-Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the UP-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) report the detection of 52 additional B.1.351 variant (South Africa variant) cases, 31 additional B.1.1.7 variant (UK variant) cases, and 42 additional cases with mutations of potential clinical significance among the 9th batch of 350 samples sequenced by the UP-PGC.

Samples comprising this run came from NCR, Region 7, and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) in response to the increased number of cases in these areas.


Of the 52 cases who tested positive for the B.1.351 variant, 41 have indicative addresses in NCR, while 11 cases are being verified if these are local cases or ROFs. One case from NCR has recovered, while the remaining 51 cases are currently tagged as active and are being managed.


On the other hand, 28 of the B.1.1.7 cases have indicative addresses in NCR, while three (3) cases are being verified if these are local cases or ROFs. All 31 are active cases.


Lastly, of the 42 cases with mutations of potential clinical significance, 34 have indicative addresses in Region 7, six (6) have indicative addresses in NCR, and two (2) cases are being verified if these are local cases or ROFs.

Twenty-two (22) of the 34 cases from Region 7 are now recovered. Meanwhile, the remaining 12 Region 7 cases, all 6 NCR cases, and both cases being verified are tagged as active cases.

The DOH and its concerned Centers for Health Development is coordinating with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and Local Government Units (LGUs) in NCR and Region 7 to institute measures to contain further transmission of these variants and mutations.

Lastly, everyone is reminded of their individual responsibilities to follow the minimum public health standards at all times and in all settings.

The conscious effort of properly wearing a mask and face shield, and observing physical distancing will keep you and everyone around you protected from COVID-19. (with reports from JOYCE FERNAN)

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