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10 new cases of Indian variant detected

MANILA, Philippines — Ten more cases of B.1.617.2 or the Indian variant of COVID-19 were detected in the Philippines and nine of them are crewmembers of M/V Athens Bridge, the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday.

In a report, the DOH said the figure was based on the latest batch of swab samples sequenced by the Philippine Genome Center and University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health.

“These 10 B.1.617.2 variant cases were in addition to the two cases previously reported last May 11, bringing the total to 12,” the DOH added.

One of the 10 cases is seafarer who disembarked in Belgium before flying to Manila last April 2 via Emirates airlines. The seafarer completed his isolation period last May 13.

According to DOH, the nine cases are from the 12 Filipino crew of MV Athens earlier found positive for COVID-19.

“Four of the nine B.1.617.2 cases remain admitted at a hospital in Manila and are currently in stable condition, while the other five are currently in an isolation facility,” the DOH revealed.

The three other crew with COVID-19 were not eligible for genome sequencing but they remain in an isolation facility.

The first two cases of the Indian variant in the Philippines are seafarers who flew in from Oman and the United Arab Emirates on April 10 and 19. They did not have history of travel to or a stopover in India.

The DOH also reported the detection of 13 additional cases of the B1.1.7 or the United Kingdom variant. Three of the cases are returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) while 10 are local cases.

Based on the case line list, one infected individual has died while 12 have recovered.

On the other hand, seven more cases of B.1.351or the South Africa variant were found. Two of the cases are ROFs, two are local cases, while three are still being verified if they are ROF or local cases.

The DOH said that based on the case line list, two cases are still active while one has died and four have…

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