Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said yesterday the government would impose stricter border controls to prevent the entry of the Lambda Covid-19 strain, that remains to be a “variant of interest”.
In a Palace briefing, Duque said the Lambda variant, that reportedly originated in Peru and has spread in 35 Latin American countries, has not yet been detected in the Philippines, based on the genome sequencing of the Philippine Genome Center of 7,000 samples.
Duque also noted that the Lambda variant has not yet been classified as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization.
He emphasized that all returning Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers must follow strict quarantine protocols, where they will undergo quarantine for at least 10 days and take a swab test on the seventh day since their arrival.
Duque noted that border controls have, so far, been effective, particularly against the highly infectious Delta variant with no local case or local transmission recorded yet in the Philippines.
“So we need to really monitor this because it might become a variant of concern. Let’s continue intensifying our border control,” he said.
Meanwhile, the nation’s total number of recovered coronavirus disease 2019 cases has reached 1,370,923, after 6,086 new survivors were reported yesterday.
In its latest case bulletin, the DOH said recoveries account for 94.8 percent of the Philippines’ total caseload that has reached 1,445,832.
Meanwhile, the 4,114 new infections recorded brought the total active case tally to 49,613.
About 90.8 percent of these active cases are mild, 3.9 percent are asymptomatic, 1.5 percent are critical, 2.2 percent are severe, and 1.62 percent are moderate.
Some 104 new deaths were also reported, pushing the country’s total number of Covid-19 fatalities to 25,296.
According to the DOH data on July 4, about 10.5 percent of 31,536 individuals tested for Covid-19 yielded positive results.
The DOH noted that nine laboratories were not able to submit their data to the Covid-19 Document Repository System.
Moreover, 38 cases previously classified as recoveries were reclassified as active cases, and 63 recoveries were tagged as deaths.
To date, 57 percent of 3,400 intensive care unit beds, 47 percent of 19,300 isolation beds, 43 percent of 12,200 ward beds, and 36 percent of 2,800 ventilators are utilized by patients with Covid-19 nationwide.*PNA