A police officer mans a checkpoint at a village under lockdown amid rising coronavirus infections, in Manila, Philippines. Reuters
The Philippines has detected its first case of the highly contagious coronavirus variant first identified in Brazil, the health ministry said on Saturday.
A Filipino returning from Brazil tested positive for the P.1 variant after 752 samples were sequenced at the genome centre, the ministry said in a statement.
It reported 59 new infections of the B.1.1.7 variant first detected in Britain, and 32 cases of the B.1.351 variant discovered in South Africa. This brings cases for those variants to 177 and 90, respectively.
“Correct and consistent adherence to the minimum public health standards will prevent the transmission of these variants,” the ministry said.
The Philippines, which has the second-highest COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia, is battling a renewed surge as it ramps up a vaccination drive that started on March 1.
The Philippines has sacked its former ambassador to Brazil, after she was caught on camera attacking a domestic worker at her official residence in Brasilia.
The country has seen record new cases in three of the past five days, while the infections reported in the past 10 days accounted for a tenth of its total of 702,856 cases.
The world is scrambling to contain the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant, despite travel bans, new lockdowns and a tightening quarantine measures in dozens of countries, amid concerns it could not only be more transmissible, but deadlier.
The Dubai Civil Defence brought a fire that broke out in a 14-storey residential tower in the Al Nahda area under control. No casualties were reported, official sources confirmed.
In a message on the Telegram app, Kadyrov wrote, "In my personal opinion, tougher measures should be taken, tantamount to declaring martial law in border areas and using low-yield nuclear weapons."
Ten people died while several others were injured after a tractor-trolley carrying devotees overturned in a pond in Kanpur district. However, according to a report by NDTV the death toll stood at 22.
The site was checked by the operation team of NSRC. With the capabilities of NSRC's search and rescue aircraft, the SAR team was able to evacuate the patient from peak of mountain to Kalba Hospital to receive the necessary treatment.