PH detects 12 new local Delta variant cases, total climbs to 47

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 22)— The country has detected 12 new local cases of the feared Delta coronavirus variant, bringing the total to 47, the Department of Health said Thursday.

In a statement, the DOH said the new local cases were reported in the following regions:

- Region III (six cases)

- Calabarzon (two cases)

- Region V (one case)

- NCR (three cases)

The agency said all patients have been tagged as recovered, "but their outcomes are being validated by our regional and local health offices."

"With the detection of additional cases, it is crucial that we implement enhanced response immediately in the areas where these cases were detected and its contiguous LGUs as well as areas with case spikes with the premise that there may be ongoing local transmission already," the DOH stressed.

The department also assured the public that the government has amplified contact tracing, testing, and quarantine protocols after the country recorded its first local cases of the contagious variant.

In a separate statement, the DOH-Bicol clarified that the reported variant case in the region is a Bicolano currently working in Metro Manila.

Director Ernie Vera said the patient cannot be classified as a local case as she has not traveled to Bicol for the last three years, or has been visited by someone from Bicol.

Other variant cases

The DOH also reported 187 additional Alpha variant cases, bringing the total to 1,668.

There are also 142 more Beta variant cases, pushing the tally to 1,827.

The agency also detected 12 additional cases of the P.3 variant first detected in the Philippines - which was earlier downgraded by the World Health Organization and was reclassified as "alert for further monitoring."

RELATED: P.3 variant first found in PH no longer a 'variant of interest' WHO

All P.3 variant cases were tagged as recovered.

With the detection of additional variant cases, the DOH requested local government units to increase the samples they send for genome sequencing, especially in areas with case spikes and clustering.