25 more UK, South African cases identified

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    THE Philippine Genome Center (PGC) yesterday said it has detected 25 additional cases of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that are of the United Kingdom and South African variants origin.

    In a televised public briefing, PGC Executive Director Cynthia Saloma said 14 UK variant cases and 11 South African variant infections were detected from 4,751 samples that it has examined.

    Saloma said the total of UK variant (B.1.1.7) cases in the country is now at 237, while the South African variant (B.1.351) has infected 163 individuals.

    In an earlier report released by the Department of Health (DOH), there were 223 B.1.1.7 variant cases and 152 B.1.351 variant cases as of March 19.

    The number of infections from the P.3 (Philippines) and P.1 (Brazil) variants remain the same at 104 and 1, respectively.

    Saloma said the PGC has yet to gather sufficient data to show that the P.3 variant, or the one first reported in the Philippines, is more fatal.

    “There is no sufficient evidence that it causes severe symptoms or increased fatality,” she said, adding that all recorded cases from the local variant were mild and asymptomatic. “So it is not true that it is more fatal,” she added.