By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Cal Matters

The Philippines has detected its first case of Lambda COVID-19 variant, the Department of Health (DOH) announced Saturday, August 15.

DOH said the first infected is a 35-year-old female but it is yet to determine whether she is a local or a returning overseas Filipino. The patient was asymptomatic and nearing recovery after being placed under isolation for ten days.

Lambda variant, which was first detected in Peru and believed to be more infectious and more resistant to COVID-19 vaccines, has been classified as the “Variant of Interest” by the World Health Organization (WHO) last June. However, more studies need to be proven if it is more infectious than the Delta strain, which was first reported in India and now prevalent worldwide.

Moreover, the executive director of Philippine Genome Center Dr. Cynthia Saloma earlier said Lambda variant will be an “emerging global public health risk” since Peru has the highest COVID-related fatality rate thus far.

469K Moderna jabs arrive

Meanwhile, the Philippines received a total of 469,200 COVID-19 vaccine doses developed by United States pharmaceutical firm Moderna this afternoon.

Of the doses delivered, 319,200 were government-procured while 150,000 were bought by the private sector.

The latest shipment brings the country’s total inventory to 42,575,350 doses, capable of fully vaccinating 22,908,100 individuals.

As of Saturday, the DOH reported 1,741,616 total infections including 102,748 active cases, 1,608,528 recoveries, and 30,340 deaths.

According to the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC), as of August 14, 27,552,770 COVID-19 jabs have been administered nationwide. Of the total, 15,092,332 individuals got the first shot and 12,460,438 individuals were fully immunized against the said disease.