The country listed ten new COVID-19 cases of the so-called “double mutant” variant first detected in India, bringing the total to 12, the Department of Health said on Saturday.
Of the ten cases, one was a seafarer from Belgium, while the rest were crew members of the MV Athens Bridge which arrived from India earlier this month.
The seafarer arrived on April 24 and completed isolation on May 13. Meanwhile, four of the crew members are still in a hospital but are in stable condition and the other five are in an isolation facility. There were 12 crew members on the vessel that tested positive for COVID-19 but the DOH said the samples of the other three were not eligible for genome sequencing. The three are in an isolation facility.
The country recorded its first two cases of the variant from India four days ago. The DOH said that the sole infected close contact whose sample was eligible for sequencing tested negative for the highly transmissible variant.
Apart from the variant from India, the DOH also found 13 new cases of the B.1.1.7 variant from the United Kingdom, seven cases of the B.1.351 variant from South Africa and one new case of the P3 variant discovered in the country.
Of the 13 cases of the variant from the UK, one person died while 12 recovered. On the other hand, one person died, four got better, and two are currently ill among the new cases of the variant from South Africa. The additional case of the variant in the Philippines died on February 28, the DOH added.