The Philippines has detected its first local Covid-19 cases of the Delta variant, increasing the infections of the more transmissible strain in the country rose to 35, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said 16 new cases of the Delta variant have been detected in the country, including 11 locally transmitted, with 15 recoveries and one death, reports Xinhua news agency.

Of the 11 local transmissions, six were detected in a northern Mindanao region.

“(The six cases) are part of a large cluster, with dates of onset between June 23 to 28. All have been tagged as recovered,” Vergeire added.

Meanwhile, two cases were detected in Metro Manila, one was detected in central Luzon while the two others were found in the central Philippines, she said.

The Philippines had previously reported 19 Delta variant cases.

Eighteen patients have recovered while one died, the DOH said.

The country has banned inbound travellers from Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates to curb the spread of theDelta variant.

The Philippines has reported a total of 1,490,665 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 26,314 deaths.

–IANS

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