DOH reports 1,888 new COVID-19 cases
The Department of Health (DOH) recorded more than 1,800 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday.
In its latest Case Bulletin, the DOH reported 1,888 new cases, bringing the total COVID-19 cases in the country to 561,169.
The Health department also recorded 9,737 new recoveries, which brought the total number of recovered patients to 522,843, while 20 patients died due to the virus, bringing the total to 12,088.
DOH said there remain 26,238 active COVID-19 cases in the country.
Of the active cases, 87.3 percent were mild, 6.1 percent were asymptomatic, 3.0 percent were critical, 2.8 percent were severe, and 0.91 percent were moderate.
In a statement, DOH confirmed that 18 additional UK variants have been detected by the Philippine Genome Center (PGC).
As of now, the country has a total of 62 UK variant cases.
"We confirm 18 additional B.1.1.7 variant (UK variant) cases among the 7th batch of 757 samples sequenced by the PGC on February 18," the Health department said.
Of the new UK variant cases, 13 were Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs), who entered the country between January 3 to 27.
The other three UK variant cases were found to be from the Cordillera Administrative Region, two of them were connected to the original cluster from Bontoc, Mountain Province; while the third case was connected to the first La Trinidad, Benguet cluster. They were now tagged as recovered with all close contacts having completed quarantine following immediate contact tracing and isolation.
Meanwhile, authorities have been checking if the last two UK variant cases were due to local transmission or ROFs.
The Health department said three more COVID-19 cases with potentially significant mutations were found in Central Visayas.
This brought the total number of COVID-19 patients with mutations of "potential clinical significance" to 34.
"An additional sample from Region 7 belonging to the last (6th) genome sequencing batch was found to have both N501Y and E484K mutations," it said.
"Another two among the 80 Region 7 samples sequenced in the 7th batch were also found to have both mutations," DOH added.
With additional cases of the UK variant and COVID-19 mutations, the DOH said it has already ordered the conduct of enhanced case investigation and contact tracing efforts by local health offices, regional epidemiology and surveillance units (RESU), and concerned local government units (LGUs).
"The DOH calls on concerned LGUs, where cases with the variant of concern and mutations with potential clinical significance have been detected, to closely monitor their respective local situations," the Health department said.
"The DOH further calls on LGUs to immediately flag sharp upticks in cases to the DOH in order to activate targeted biosurveillance activities," it said.
The DOH also said the PGH and the National Institute for Health are already preparing to submit their new findings to the World Health Organization and the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID). Ella Dionisio/DMS