DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 24 June) – Fourteen cases of COVID-19 variants were detected in Davao Region, the regional office of the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao confirmed on Wednesday.
In a press release, DOH-Davao said three Alpha and 11 Beta variant cases were found among the test samples it submitted for genome sequencing at the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center last June 3 and June 10.
The Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Beta (B.1.351) variants, which were first detected in the UK and South Africa, respectively, are considered highly infectious.
Two cases of Alpha variant were detected in Davao City, one of whom was a 31-year old male with mild symptoms and the other a 19-year old female who was asymptomatic. Both patients have already recovered, DOH-Davao said.
The third Alpha variant case of the region, a 38-year old asymptomatic male patient, was isolated in one of facilities of the provincial government of Davao del Norte.
Out of the 11 Beta variant cases, five were detected in the city – a 24-year old male, a 66-year old female, and a 72-year old female who were asymptomatic, a 39-year old male who experienced mild symptoms, and a 64-year old female who showed severe symptoms.
All of them have reportedly recovered from the infection.
The six other cases were reported in Davao del Norte. These included a 28-year old asymptomatic male, a 20-year old female and a 22-year old male with mild symptoms who have all recovered.
The three other cases, a 40-year old asymptomatic female, an 84-year old male with moderate symptoms, and a 43-year old female with mild symptoms, were still isolated at the province’s facility for COVID-19 patients.
They were all not overseas Filipino workers nor related to each other, the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit of DOH-Davao said.
It added the investigation as to how they got infected is still ongoing.
The local government units of Davao City and Davao del Norte are undertaking an “extensive contact tracing up to third generation close contacts and thorough investigation of the possible source of these variants.”
DOH-Davao said the close contacts of the four remaining active cases of variants of concern will be prioritized for testing.
The close contacts are required to undergo a 14-day strict facility quarantine even if they turned out negative of the virus based on a transcription polymerase-chain reaction test, it said.
As of June 23, DOH-Davao reported 38,806 cases with 8,856 active ones, 28,612 recoveries, and 1,338 deaths.
Out of the total number, Davao City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mindanao, logged 22,464 cases with 4,606 active ones, 17,014 recoveries and 844 deaths.
Davao de Oro tallied 2,929 cases, Davao del Norte 7,406, Davao del Sur 2,966, Davao Occidental 541, and Davao Oriental 2,500. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)