Zamboanga City has confirmed 51 cases of the B.1.351 COVID-19 variant first detected in South Africa and one case of the P.3 variant first detected in the Philippines, Mayor Isabelle “Beng” Climaco said Monday.
Climaco said the Department of Health and Philippine Genome Center conducted genome sequencing on 257 samples.
"Out of the 52 cases of variants of concern, 37 have fully recovered while 15 have expired. Some of those who expired had comorbidities," Climaco said in a statement.
Of the 52 cases of variants of concern, Climaco said 37 recovered while 15 died. "Some of those who expired had comorbidities," she noted.
In other developments, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday there is no third wave of COVID-19 in the Philippines, even as more people in the Visayas and Mindanao have contracted the disease.
The Philippines logged on Monday 6,684 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the total to 1,230,301, as three laboratories were not able to submit their data on time, the DOH reported.
The downward trend in the testing rate in the National Capital Region may have been caused by the drop in new COVID-19 cases and the use of a different testing methodology in the area and neighboring provinces, Vergeire said Monday.
"The DOH IX has gathered more samples for genomic bio-surveillance among local cases including reported cases or reinfections and clustering of cases or deaths," the mayor added.
Climaco also said the government is ramping up its contact tracing activities to immediately treat and isolate COVID-19 cases in the locality.
Since the South Africa variant is more contagious, Climaco reminded residents of strict compliance with health standards including "wearing of face mask and face shield, washing/sanitizing hands, and maintaining physical distance."