Samples from Davao, other flagged areas tested for variants

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 18) — COVID-19 samples from flagged areas were among those tested to detect the possible presence of coronavirus variants.

Results are expected within the week, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

"In-include namin 'yung flagged areas namin (We included our flagged areas). There are these areas na talagang in-identify namin (we identified) that we should be able to get specimens from," Vergeire told a media forum on Friday.

"So nakuha natin yan from Davao, from the Visayas, like Negros Oriental; iyon pong may kasong matataas ang inuna natin diyan," she added.

[Translation: So, we got samples from Davao, the Visayas like Negros Oriental; those areas with high cases were prioritized.]

Vergeire said they were still able to run tests on 45 specimens despite limited testing kits.

She said supplies will be replenished next week, adding the incoming stocks would be enough for the rest of the year.

As of May 29, the Philippines has 1,246 cases of the Beta variant, or the variant first detected in South Africa; 1,071 cases of the Alpha variant, or the variant first found in the United Kingdom; and 13 cases of the Delta variant, or the variant first reported in India.