The Department of Health (DOH) announced that 40 out of the 44 positive cases of the UK coronavirus variant have recovered from the disease. 

DOH Epidemiology Bureau Director Alethea De Guzman said there are currently 3 active cases, while only one has so far died from the disease as of February 14.

The remaining three active cases were returning overseas Filipino from the United Arab Emirates: a 20-year-old female from Sabangan, Mountain Province, and a 37-year-old male from Impasug-ong, Bukidnon.

All of them are currently in isolation. 

Among the 44 total cases, 28 are locals while 15 are returning overseas Filipinos.

Meanwhile, the address of one case is still being verified by the DOH.

From the 28 local cases, 14 came from Bontoc, Mountain Province cluster and two are connected to the La Trinidad cluster.

De Guzman explained that there was only “minimal transmission” of the UK variant since only three additional cases were found to be connected to the infection.

“Nakikita natin na minimal na ‘yung transmission sa ibang individual basta na-detect natin siya at basta nagawa natin kaagad ‘yung response natin,” she said in a virtual briefing.

“Ibig sabihin our strategy works… We cut the chain of transmission. Hindi na siya dapat magkakaroon pa ng additional ng UK variant cases. Gano’n kahalaga ‘yung sinasabi natin na swift and enhanced response,” she added.

A total of 1,945 samples have undergone genome sequencing as of February 12, 30% or 582 of them had the B.1.1.63 lineage or the Hong Kong variant.

Meanwhile, Philippine Genome Center Executive Director Cynthia Saloma explained that mutations are normal, noting that the coronavirus mutates slower compared to other viruses. 

“Part of the natural evolution of viruses is to mutate every time they copy and multiply within the host,” she said. Ronald dela Cruz