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Cleaning It Out

Contamination has been found among sequencing machines being used by the Philippine Genome Center to analyze SARS-CoV-2 genomes, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reports, noting that the needed maintenance will delay the release of genome sequencing results.

According to the Philippine Star, the PGC oversees biosurveillance efforts there and it typically sequences about 750 samples a week and monitors viral variants in circulation. The Philippine Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire this week, though, announced that the center informed the health department that it needed to conduct maintenance procedures on the machines to address a contamination issue, the Inquirer adds.

"The maintenance procedures were completed and now we are running a new batch of samples because the previous one encountered problems," Vergeire said during a press briefing, according to the Star. It adds that she noted that the new sequencing results may be released Friday or Saturday.

Recent results have uncovered 223 cases of the B.1.17 variant, 152 cases of the B.1.351 variant, and one case of the P.1 variant, as well as 104 cases of a P.3 variant that has been found in the Philippines, the Inquirer reports.