Philippines detect first Lambda case, Covid death toll tops 30,000

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Coronavirus Variant Illustration Of V
Coronavirus Variant Illustration Of V

The Philippines’ health department on Sunday reported detecting the first case of the Lambda variant of the coronavirus in the country, as the death toll from Covid-19 topped 30,000.

The first Lambda variant case is a 35-year-old female who has since recovered, the Department of Health said, adding it was still validating if the patient was a Filipino returning from overseas.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified Lambda, which was first identified in Peru in August 2020, as a “variant of interest.”

The country’s death toll from Covid-19 rose by 270 on Sunday, up to 30,340. The number of infections also increased, with 14,749 new cases, bringing the total caseload to more than 1.74 million, the health department said.

The government has placed the capital region of Metro Manila under strict lockdown until August 20 in a bid to contain a surge in Covid-19 cases suspected to be driven by the highly contagious Delta variant.

It also extended a ban on the entry of travellers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia until August 31 as part of efforts to contain the spread of the Delta variant.

The entry ban was first implemented on April 29 for travellers from India or those who had recently travelled to the South Asian country. Other countries were later added to the list.

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