Philippines detects 8 additional cases of new and more contagious coronovirus strain, total reaches 25

MANILA, Feb. 5 (Xinhua): The Philippines has detected an additional eight cases of the more contagious coronavirus variant first found in Britain, bringing the total confirmed cases of the new strain in the country to 25.

The Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines confirmed on Friday that five cases were found in two provinces in the northern Philippines, two in the central Philippines and one with no given address.

The DOH said it will conduct "immediate case investigation and intensified contact tracing," including back tracing to identify the sources of infection for the cases with no known link to previously reported variant cases.

"Biosurveillance activities shall likewise be sustained and the succeeding whole genome sequencing activities are expected to determine the extent of transmission in areas where the variant cases have been detected and to provide better representation from all regions," the DOH said.

The Philippines confirmed its first case of the fast-spreading mutated virus on Jan. 7.

The Philippines now has 533,587 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 11,058 deaths. - Xinhua
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