By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Department of Health (DOH) yesterday confirmed that the country’s first case of the Lambda variant of COVID-19 was detected in Valladolid town in Negros Occidental.
The patient, a 35-year-old pregnant woman, was asymptomatic and was already tagged as recovered.
Based on the patient’s records, she was swabbed on July 2 and yielded a positive COVID-19 result. A reswab was also performed on July 16, wherein she came up with a negative result.
As part of the protocol for women who are about to go on labor, she again underwent RT-PCR test as she was being referred to the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) in Bacolod City on July 22.
She then gave birth to a baby boy six hours later, and the RT-PCR test again came back positive for COVID-19.
By July 26 she was released from hospital admission and transferred to the province’s quarantine facility in the town of E.B. Magalona.
Her sample was sent to the Philippine Genome Center on August 2, and she was released from the province’s quarantine center the following day, August 3, after spending 10 days in isolation.
The results showing that she has a Lambda variant was released on August 15.
She was also noted to have not yet received her COVID-19 vaccine.
After receiving the report, Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz said the patient was again reswabbed, although they are not placing her residence on lockdown as she is already considered as recovered.
“Indi pa ni [conclusive] amo na nga gina-investigate gid, because ang Lambda is supposed to be very contagious and lowers the effectivity of the vaccine, pero ngaa ang iya mga upod sa balay ngaa waay na-infect?” Diaz questioned.
The DOH in Western Visayas, meanwhile, affirmed that the case in Valladolid was a confirmed Lambda variant case.
The Lambda variant, also known as the C.37 lineage of COVID-19 was first detected in the South American country of Peru in August 2020.
The variant is known to have the same infectious power as the Delta and Delta+ variants, but the primary concern is the variant could be highly resistant to vaccines.
The Lambda variant is currently tagged as a “variant of interest” by the World Health Organization./DGB, WDJ