Philippines confirms rising Delta Variant cases as 4,516 new Covid-19 cases confirmed as total now stands at 1,517,903

A volunteer medical worker administers a dose of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to a tricycle driver during a vaccination drive for economic frontliners, organised by the vice president's office and city government, in Manila on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. - AFP

MANILA, July 20 (Xinhua): The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported on Tuesday 4,516 new Covid-19 infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the South-East Asian country to 1,517,903.

The death toll climbed to 26,844 after 58 more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH said, adding that 10 laboratories failed to submit reports.

The Philippines, which has around 110 million population, has tested nearly 15 million people since the outbreak in January 2020.

Eight of the 35 Delta variant cases detected in the Philippines are still active, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online briefing, adding that three have died.

She said one active case is in Metro Manila, five in the southern Philippines, and two are returning overseas Filipino workers.

These patients were tagged as recovered after completing their quarantine period upon arrival, but tested positive again after a swab test, Vergeire added. The patients are now isolated and undergoing another round of quarantine.

The DOH said 11 of the 35 Delta patients were locally acquired, while the other 24 were returning Filipinos.

Meanwhile, health authorities have isolated 20 crew members of a vessel that sailed from Indonesia after 12 crew members tested positive for Covid-19.

Vergeire said that one member who tested positive got off in Butuan City in the southern Philippines for a while before the vessel continued sailing to Albay province, southeast of Manila.

Vergeire said the Philippines Coast Guard is closely watching the vessel anchored at sea in Albay province to ensure that crew members stay in the boat.

She said the crew members are asymptomatic, including the one that got off in the southern Philippines. "The crew member who visited his family is now isolated. The driver of the public transport that he took, the helper, and all his relatives have been quarantined," she said.

Vergeire said the swab samples of the crew members would be sequenced to detect if they are infected with the Delta variant. Enditem

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