MANILA (May 16, 2021) – The Department of Health on Saturday confirmed 10 new cases of India’s COVID-19 deadly variant in the Philippines.

There were 9 seafarers of the MV Athens Bridge has been diagnosed to have the B.1.617 variant. The Philippines has now a total of 12 confirmed cases of the said virus.

According to the World Health Organization, B.1.617 variant of COVID-19 was first detected in India last October. And they have found out that it transmits easily and affects people.

The India variant was cited as “double mutant” because of the presence of two notable mutations in the spike protein of the virus, which are said to allow the virus to easily gain entry into the human body and multiply faster.

To control the transmission of the COVID-19 variant, President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday instructed easing of some coronavirus restrictions in the capital and nearby provinces, with daily COVID-19 infections well down from a peak nearly 2 months ago.

On the same day, the government extended and expanded the travel restrictions on travelers from India until the end of the month to halt the spread of the variant from the said country.