PH detects first case of COVID-19 Lambda variant

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 15) — The Lambda coronavirus variant has entered the country, the Department of Health confirmed on Sunday.

The DOH said the Philippines’ first case of the “variant of interest” is a 35-year-old female, who was asymptomatic and tagged as recovered after undergoing a 10-day isolation period.

It is not yet clear if she is a returning overseas Filipino (ROF) or if the infection is a local case, the department said.

It added it is currently conducting back contact tracing and case investigation.

The Lambda variant was first identified in Peru in August 2020. It was classified as a "variant of interest" by the World Health Organization last June.

The DOH said the variant has "the potential to affect the transmissibility" of the coronavirus and is currently being monitored for its possible clinical significance.

Hundreds more cases of other variants detected

The DOH also said a total of 329 new cases of other coronavirus variants were found in the latest batch of whole genome sequencing.

These include 182 Delta variant cases, of which 112 were classified as local infections and 36 as ROFs. The other 34 are still being verified, the department noted.

It added that 176 were tagged as recovered, four died, one is an active case, while one is under verification.

The newly announced local cases had listed addresses in the following areas:

- 42 in Metro Manila

- 36 in Central Luzon

- eight in Calabarzon

- six in Mimaropa

- six in Northern Mindanao

- four in Central Visayas

- three in Davao Region

- three in Caraga

- two in Western Visayas

- one in Cordillera Administrative Region

- one in BARMM

The DOH added that two cases from Metro Manila previously reported as Delta were reclassified as Beta variant after validation. The country's Delta case tally is now at 807.

Meanwhile, the department recorded 66 new Beta variant cases, pushing the total to 2,483.

There are also 41 more patients infected with the Alpha variant, raising the cumulative count to 2,232.

Additionally, authorities detected 40 new cases of the P.3 variant first discovered in the Philippines.

The agency again reminded the public to abide by minimum health protocols, including practicing immediate isolation upon experiencing symptoms.