Covid19 : Local transmission of Delta Variant detected in Philippines
The Philippines has recorded the country’s first locally transmitted cases of the more infectious Delta coronavirus variant, the health ministry said on Friday, with one person dying from the disease. Of the 16 new COVID-19 cases found to have contracted the Delta variant, 11 were tagged as locally acquired cases, health undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told a news conference.
Apart from the Delta variant, the Philippines also has its own variant of Covid-19 called P.3, which was downgraded by WHO from a variant of interest to an alert for further monitoring, according to a report by GMA news online on Tuesday. The P.3 variant, first identified in the country in mid- February this year, has infected 166 people, the GMA news online report added.
Travelers from Indonesia are also banned from entering the Philippines until the end of July to prevent the spread and community transmission of Covid-19 variants in the country. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced that President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation to include Indonesia in the list of seven countries currently in the travel restrictions. Nations already listed in the travel ban are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, and Oman.
The Delta variant, which was first detected in India in October last year, has wreaked havoc across the globe with more than 111 countries reporting cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The Delta coronavirus variant is found to be 60 percent more infectious than the Alpha variant, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, and apparently behind the surge in cases in other countries, according to reports.