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THE LATEST: Delta variant in the Philippines

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Jul 19, 2021 4:25 pm Updated Jul 28, 2021 5:18 pm

Despite increase in COVID cases, DOH says no surge in NCR

In a statement on July 27, the Department of Health (DOH) said there is no surge of COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) despite the rising cases in the region.

“While there is an observed increase in cases, there is no definitive evidence of a surge in the National Capital Region,” the DOH said. “DOH, however, is closely monitoring daily trends and is immediately flagging areas with increases in rates of transmission based on two-week growth rates, in affected population as per average daily attack rate and/or health care utilization.”

Although the DOH did not mention any independent research group, they pointed out that independent experts should be more careful in issuing statements about the country’s COVID-19 situation.

Earlier on Tuesday, OCTA Research Group said that the reproduction rate of cases in NCR has climbed to 1.33 from 0.6 and suggested a “circuit breaker” lockdown in the National Capital Region (NCR).

“The DOH noted the observations of independent expert groups but maintains that such observations should be carefully verified,” the health department said. It added that the statement from the research group may cause “more panic and fear.”

“While we acknowledge the differences in the metrics and methods of analysis used by these independent groups, we share the same goal to keep the case numbers down and improve the healthcare system of the country,” DOH explained in the statement.

There are 119 Delta variant cases in the country as of writing.


DOH says 24 of detected Delta cases in the Philippines were not vaccinated

There are now 119 detected cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the country, with 24 so far of the total unvaccinated according to the Department of Health (DOH).

Yesterday, the DOH reported detecting an additional 55 cases of the more transmissible Delta variant in the country based on the latest genome sequencing by the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center and the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health.

In a briefing today, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that of the total Delta cases detected so far, 24 were not vaccinated, four cases received two doses, five received one dose, while 86 are for verification.

Of the four who received two doses, three had mild symptoms while one is asymptomatic. Of the five who received one dose of the vaccine, three were mild cases while two were asymptomatic.

Two out of the three casualties from the Delta variant were also unvaccinated according to Vergeire.

Vergeire then again urged the public to get vaccinated.

“Dito makikita daw na vaccines work, bumaba din ang number ng healthcare workers na nagkakasakit ng COVID,” Vergeire said in an online briefing.

“Get yourselves vaccinated kasi it will help you protect against different variants of COVID.”

DOH announces 12 new local cases of Delta variant in PH, bringing total to 37

The Department of Health (DOH) has recorded 12 more local cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19, bringing the total active cases to 37.

The 12 local Delta active cases are in Central Luzon (6), Metro Manila (3), CALABARZON (2), and Bicol Region (1).

The DOH said that all cases have been tagged as recovered but their “outcomes are being validated by our regional and local health offices." According to the DOH, they will “implement enhanced response immediately in the areas where these cases have been detected” and with the “premise that there may be ongoing local transmission already.”

Health authorities also reported additional 187 Alpha variant cases, 142 Beta cases, and 12 P.3 variant cases. —Hannah Mallorca

DOH detects 7 active Delta COVID-19 cases out of 35 infected in PH

The Department of Health (DOH) recorded 7 active cases out of 35 Delta cases in the country, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an interview with CNN Philippines July 20.

“For these 35 total cases in the country, we have three who have died, and then we have seven whom we discovered are still active for now,” Usec. Vergeire said on The Source.

Vergeire clarified that the Delta variant cases are local cases, not local transmissions. “The difference between local cases and local transmission would be, these local cases we have right now are kind of sporadic, they are in different areas and (have) different timelines for getting infected.”

“When you say local transmission, there is already an evidence of linkage between and among these individuals who were positive with the Delta variant,” she said.

The seven local Delta active cases are in Manila, Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental; they are now in isolation and being closely monitored by their local government.

Usec. Vergeire said the DOH is still going to implement the existing quarantine restrictions in the Delta variant-affected areas.

“Whatever protocols we have right now, we just need to intensify them,” she said.

According to Vergeire, further decisions for possible new quarantine restrictions are to be announced by the IATF on Thursday, July 22.  — Kirsten Hallie Santos

Philippine death toll from COVID-19 delta variant now at three

There are now three people who died in the Philippines after contracting the more transmissible COVID-19 Delta strain according to the Department of Health.

These three recorded cases are a 63-year-old male crew of the MV Athens who died on May 19, a 78-year-old female from Baybay Antique who died on May 30, and a 58-year-old female from Pandacan who died on June 28.

The DOH last Friday reported the detection of 16 additional cases of the Delta variant in the Philippines, bringing the total to 35.

The three casualties are already among the 35 recorded infections of the delta variant in the country. 

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told DZMM Teleradyo earlier today that the government has been preparing for the entry of the Delta variant since it was first reported to have triggered an outbreak in India.

Vergeire said the DOH has talked with the Department of Trade Industry in asking local manufacturers to help boost the country’s oxygen supply. During the height of the Delta-triggered outbreak in India, a record number of casualties were due to lack of oxygen supply.

“Currently our existing oxygen supply is sufficient, but we need to add more so we can be prepared,” said Vergeire.

“Our hospitals are now guided that they should be expanding their beds already. Our local governments have been guided also that they should intensify their PDITR (prevent, detect, isolate, treat,reintegrate) response,” added Vergeire.

During the televised Laging Handa news briefing of PTV early today, Dr. Jose de Grano of the Private Hospital Association of the Philippines said that they have already expanded their bed allotments for COVID-19 to as much as 30%.

“Problem lang is nurses as hospitals are short-staffed. If dumami ang moderate and critical COVID-19 cases, mahihirapan and private and government hospitals dahil need na ng assistance,” said De Grano.

To ward off another feared surge of COVID-19, De Grano said the public should continue with the vaccination and to observe minimum health protocols.

(This is a developing story. Check here regularly for updates.)