Philippines Reports First Variant Of COVID In Brazil As New Cases Rise | News on the coronavirus pandemic


The country reported 4,578 new coronavirus infections on Friday, the largest daily increase in cases in nearly six months.

The Philippines has detected its first case of the highly contagious variant of the coronavirus first identified in Brazil, the health department said, as the number of infections peaked in six months.

A Filipino returning from Brazil tested positive for the P.1 variant after 752 samples were sequenced in the center of the genome, the department said in a statement on Saturday.

It reported 59 new variant B.1.1.7 infections first detected in the UK and 32 cases of variant B.1.351 found in South Africa. This brings the cases for these variants to 177 and 90, respectively.

“Correct and consistent adherence to minimum public health standards will prevent the transmission of these variants,” the ministry said.

The department also reported 13 cases “with potentially clinically significant mutations.”

The Philippines, which has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia, battles a new wave as it ramps up a vaccination campaign that began on March 1.

The country reported 4,578 new coronavirus infections on Friday, the largest daily increase in cases in nearly six months.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 611,618. The death toll has reached 12,694, with 87 additional deaths.

The upsurge in COVID-19 cases has prompted mayors in the capital, Manila, an urban sprawl of 16 cities, to impose an evening curfew until the end of March and remind the public to practice physical distancing.

The latest developments also come when Japanese health officials reported a new variant of COVID-19 in a traveler from the Philippines on Friday.

The Japanese National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) said the person’s coronavirus sample was positive for the E484K and N501Y mutations.

“The variant is distinct from those first discovered in Britain, South Africa and Brazil, and is believed to pose a similar level of threat,” Kyodo news agency said.





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