PH logs 17 new Delta variant cases, total climbs to 64

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 24)— The country has detected 17 new cases of the highly-contagious Delta coronavirus variant, raising the total tally to 64, the Department of Health said on Saturday.

Twelve of these additional cases are tagged as local cases. One is a returning overseas Filipino, while four cases are still under verification, the DOH said in its latest advisory.

Of the local cases, nine listed an address in Metro Manila, while three were in Calabarzon.

Three cases remain active, while 14 were tagged as recovered, the agency noted, adding that the results are being validated by local health offices.

Earlier this week, the DOH confirmed there is already a local transmission of the feared Delta variant. Medical groups warned the Philippines may not be able to handle its severe impact, similar to what's being experienced in Indonesia.

The government, however, said it has been increasing the capacity of local hospitals as it prepares for a "worst-case scenario.”

Other variant cases

The DOH also reported 11 additional Alpha variant cases, bringing the total to 1,679.

There are also 13 more cases of the Beta variant, pushing the tally to 1,840.

Two new cases of the P.3 variant first detected in the Philippines were also logged, but both already recovered.

Meanwhile, the agency underscored the importance of ramping up contact tracing, testing, and quarantine efforts following these new developments.