Philippines detects Lambda variant as Covid cases soar

Philippines detects Lambda variant as Covid cases soar

Service delivery riders queue to get vaccinated with Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine in a shopping mall parking lot turned into a drive-thru vaccination site in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, on Friday. (Reuters photo)
Service delivery riders queue to get vaccinated with Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine in a shopping mall parking lot turned into a drive-thru vaccination site in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, on Friday. (Reuters photo)

MANILA: The Philippines' health ministry said on Sunday it has detected the first case of Covid-19's Lambda variant in the country, and reminded the public to strictly observe minimum public health standards.

The World Health Organization classifies Lambda as a "variant of interest", which was first identified in Peru in December, as laboratory studies showed it has mutations that resist vaccine-induced antibodies. 

The Philippines recorded 14,749 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, its second-largest daily increase, bringing the country's total confirmed infections to 1.74 million.

The Department of Health also reported an additional 270 deaths, the third highest one-day spike in fatalities, increasing the death toll to 30,340.

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