The woman infected with the Lambda variant of Covid-19 had no prior travel abroad, the Department of Health said on Monday.
Health Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire confirmed that the patient, a 35-year-old pregnant woman, came from a cluster of cases in an unnamed locality that were subjected to genomic sequencing.
She tested positive on July 22.
Vergeire said that back-tracing is underway to track the patient’s close contacts.
“Inumpisahan na natin yung contact tracing for whole genome sequencing…..ngayon lang ho natin nalaman na ito ay Lambda variant (We are starting the contact tracing for whole genome sequencing, we only knew that she had the Lambda variant) so we continue on doing contact tracing and collect samples for genome sequencing,” Vergeire said in an interview with ABS-CBN Teleradyo.
She added that they are also monitoring the situation of her child, as the patient’s expected date of delivery was end-July.
The World Health Organization classified the Lambda variant as a “variant of interest,” meaning that it is still being investigated for possible clinical significance.
“[Posibleng] mataas po ang kanyang transmissibility and according to evidence, it is comparable to the Delta variant, at nakakaapekto rin sya sa immunity ng isang tao (There is a possibility that the variant is highly transmissible and according to evidence, it is comparable to the Delta variant…. It can also affect your immunity) if you are previously infected with Covid-19 virus,” Vergeire said.
The Lambda variant was first detected in Peru in December 2020 and is said to have been responsible for a surge in cases in Latin America.