In a live update last June 29, 2021, Local Inter-Agency Task Force (LIATF) spokesperson and Puerto Princesa City Legal Officer Atty. Norman Yap announced that the South African variant of COVID-19 has entered the city.
According to Atty. Yap, the Philippine Genome Center confirmed that an infected patient who was tested back in June 1, 2021 was positive with the B.1.351 or 501.V2 also known as the South African Variant.
In an article by The Washington Post, quoting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the variant was first detected in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, in early October 2020. It spread rapidly, and it was the dominant strain in parts of the country within a few weeks. The variant spreads easier, about 50% more transmissible than the earlier strains from Wuhan.
Earlier this year, the DOH reported the detection of new variants of COVID-19 in the country, one of variants was the South African variant.
Atty. Yap, on the live update, clarified that the patient that was positive with the South African Variant has since recovered and its close contacts have also been cleared.
Atty. Yap also reported that there were no casualties in connection with the variant. However, the patient did not have a travel history and it is most probable that the patient got the variant locally.