Philippines report first P.1 variant in traveler to Brazil

The Philippines Department of Health (DOH) reported today the first case of the highly contagious coronavirus variant first identified in Brazil, the P.1 variant in the country.

Image/Howard the Duck

Health officials say the individual is a returning overseas Filipino (ROF) from Western Visayas was found positive for the variant after the sequencing of 752 samples by the Philippine Genome Center.

“The one case found with the P.1 variant is a ROF from Brazil. Additional information about the case is currently being investigated,” it said in a statement.

In addition to this P.1 variant, the DOH also confirmed 59 new cases positive for the B.1.1.7, or the variant first reported in the United Kingdom (UK), as well as 32 new cases of B.1.351, or the variant first reported in South Africa.

Of the additional UK variant cases, 30 are locals, 18 are ROFs, while 11 are currently being verified, raising the total in the country to 177.

The number of South Africa variant cases in the Philippines now stands at 90.

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