The Department of Health has detected 16 new cases of the more infectious Delta coronavirus variant in the Philippines, marking the first case of local transmission.
DOH undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that 11 of the total 16 new cases were local transmissions. One has died out of the total, while 15 recovered.
In terms of areas, Region 10 or Northern Mindanao had the most number with six cases, while Region 6 or Western Visayas and NCR had two cases each, and Region 3 or Central Luzon had one. There were also five returning overseas Filipinos.
Dr. Anna Ong-Lim, a member of the DOH-Technical Advisory Group, said that the government has long been preparing for the emergence of variants, but the presence of the Delta variant should encourage more vaccinations and discourage mass gatherings.
“We need to make sure that no mass gatherings are held and even small gatherings, we should rethink also, because they could really be potential superspreader events,” said Ong-Lim.
“If there is any other reason that people should be motivated to get vaccinated ito talaga yun.”
The Delta variant has been blamed for the surge of COVID-19 infections in countries such as India, where it was first detected, as well as Indonesia, Thailand, and some countries in Europe.
(Banner photo: Residents belonging to A2 and A5 category wait to be inoculated at the Benigno Aquino Jr. Elementary School in Quezon City on July 13, 2021. KJ ROSALES/The Philippine STAR)