Officials detect 319 more Delta cases, now most common lineage in PH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 20) — The Department of Health has detected an additional 319 Delta coronavirus variant cases, making it the most common lineage in the country.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire reported on Monday that there are now 3,027 Delta variant cases or 24.16% of the total samples sequenced.

It overtook the cases of Beta and Alpha variants, which were responsible for the previous case surges in the country.

"The increased proportion of these variant can be attributed to their increased transmissibility," Vergeire told a media briefing. "However, the sampling methodology also affects these proportions."

In the latest whole genome sequencing, 85.3% of the 374 samples were found with the feared Delta variant.

It is believed by health experts to be as transmissible as chickenpox — with each infected person able to spread the virus to eight or nine others on average.

The DOH reported 297 local Delta cases, with Cagayan Valley, Caraga, and Calabarzon recording the highest number of cases. Eighteen cases were returning overseas Filipinos, while four cases are undergoing verification.

It also reported 13 more Alpha variant cases and 9 new cases of Beta variant.

Vergeire explained that the low number of samples sequenced were due to the reduced manpower of the Philippine Genome Sequencing since several employees had to undergo quarantine.