55 more COVID-19 Delta variant cases detected

Maris Federez   •   July 26, 2021   •   351

MANILA, Philippines — Fifty-five more cases of the highly contagious Covid-19 Delta variant have been detected in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) said in a statement released Sunday (July 25).

This brings the total Delta cases in the country to 119.

Of the new number, 37 are local cases –14 from Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), eight from Northern Mindanao, six from the National Capital Region, six from Central Luzon, two from Davao Region, and one from the Ilocos Region.

The other 17 cases are returning overseas Filipino, while one case is being verified if it is local or an ROF.

One case has died while 54 cases have been tagged as recovered, the DOH said.

The DOH, together with the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) also reported the detection of 94 Alpha variant cases, 179 Beta variant cases, and 9 P.3 variant cases in the latest batch of whole-genome sequencing.

“With the establishment of the local transmission of the Delta variant, we need a swifter implementation of our response strategies,” the DOH said.

The health department called on local government units (LGUs) “to immediately contain observed case increases through granular lockdowns and stronger Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) implementation.”

“We call on both public and private sectors to ensure active case finding, aggressive contact tracing, immediate isolation or quarantine, and compliance to minimum public health standards in their respective localities and even workplaces,” it added.

The DOH also urged those who have become exposed to a COVID-19 patient or have developed signs or symptoms of the deadly respiratory virus “to immediately isolate and reach out to their Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams or BHERTs for appropriate medical management.”

640 more Delta variant cases detected in Phl

Maris Federez   •   September 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine health authorities have detected 640 Delta (B.1.617.2) variant cases (85.6%), 28 Beta (B.1.351) variant cases (3.7%), 24 Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant cases (3.2%), and five P.3 variant cases (0.7%) in the latest batch of whole-genome sequencing of 748 samples.

In a press release on Monday, the Department of Health said that 584 of the additional 640 Delta variant cases, were local cases and 52 were returning overseas Filipinos (ROF).  Four cases are currently being verified whether they are local or ROF cases.

Based on the case line list, three cases are still active, 13 cases have died, while 624 cases have been tagged as recovered. Case details are being validated by the regional and local health offices.

The total Delta variant cases are now 2,708, the report said.

Meanwhile, of the additional 24 Alpha variant cases, 23 were local cases and one was a ROF.

Based on the case list, one case died while 23 cases have been tagged as recovered.

The total Alpha variant cases are now 2,448.

On the other hand, the additional 28 Beta variant cases were all local cases. Based on the case list, all have been tagged as recovered.

The total Beta variant cases are now 2,725.

The report further said that five additional P.3 variant cases were all local cases and have been tagged as recovered.

The DOH said these sequenced samples were submitted by 77 laboratories, collecting institutions, and different Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Units (RESU).

Meanwhile, the UP-PGC also announced that starting September 9 they have scaled down their COVID-19 RT-PCR testing services to shift their resources on the detection of COVID-19 variants through whole-genome sequencing.

The shift will lead to an expected increase in the sequencing capacity and detection of COVID-19 variant cases in the country in the succeeding months.

PH detects 279 more cases of Delta COVID-19 variant; total rises to 2,068

Robie de Guzman   •   September 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – More cases of the hyper-transmissible Delta COVID-19 variant have been detected in the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

In a statement, the DOH said 279 Delta variant cases were detected in the latest batch of whole-genome sequencing reported by the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC) and the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH).

Of the additional Delta variant cases, the DOH said that 245 are local cases, 21 are returning overseas Filipinos (ROF), and 13 cases are currently being verified if these are local or ROF cases.

These cases were found in the following areas:

  • 51 in the National Capital Region
  • 35 in Calabarzon
  • 24 in Central Luzon
  • 22 in Northern Mindanao
  • 17 in the Ilocos Region
  • 17 in Cagayan Valley
  • 13 cases in the Cordillera Administrative Region
  • 9 in MIMAROPA
  • 19 in the Bicol Region
  • 3 in Western Visayas
  • 5 in Central Visayas
  • 14 in Eastern Visayas
  • 1 in Zamboanga Peninsula
  • 10 in the Davao Region
  • 5 in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao

“Based on the case line list, two cases are still active, eight cases have died, 267 cases have been tagged as recovered, while the outcome of two cases is being verified,” the DOH said.

“All other details are being validated by the regional and local health offices,” it added.

The DOH said the confirmed cases of Delta variant in the Philippines now stand at 2,068.

Aside from the Delta variant, the DOH also reported the detection of 29 Alpha variant cases, 28 Beta variant cases, and 13 P.3 variant cases in the latest batch of whole-genome sequencing.

The additional 29 Alpha variant cases were all local cases.

“Based on the case list, one case is still active, one has died, while 27 cases have been tagged as recovered,” the DOH said.

The total Alpha variant cases in the Philippines are now 2,424.

Meanwhile, the 28 additional Beta variant cases were all local cases and have been tagged as recovered.

The total Beta variant cases are now 2,697.

Meanwhile, the 13 additional P.3 variant cases were all local cases.

“Based on the case list, one case has died while 12 cases have been tagged as recovered,” the DOH said.

With the sustained increase in the detection of more virulent coronavirus variants, the DOH reminded the public to continue adhering to the minimum public health standards as crucial support to vaccination efforts to prevent further transmission of the COVID-19 and its variants.

Quarantine fatigue, possible cause of complacency in following minimum health standards — expert

Maris Federez   •   September 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A health expert believes that the drop in the number of Filipinos observing minimum health protocols, compared to previous months, is due to quarantine fatigue.

In a virtual briefing on Wednesday (Sept.1), Dr. Karl Henson of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID) said that aside from the highly transmissible Delta variant, quarantine fatigue is a very likely cause that led to the current surge of coronavirus disease.

“That is very possible po we have been dealing with the pandemic since the beginning of 2020. Pinapa-stay natin ang mga tao sa bahay as much as we can. Yung mga bata nasa bahay lang, yung matatanda rin,” Henson said.

“Hindi po mahirap isipin na pagod na pagod na ang tao sa mga public health measures na ito,” he added.

Henson pointed out, however, that this is not the time to be complacent.

“Kaya, ngayon po na merong surge, I think, now is not the time po na mapapagod tayo. I think kailangan po natin ma-remind ulit ang mga tao na importanteng importante po ang pagsunod sa pagsuot ng proper na PPE (personal protective equipment),” he said.

“Delta variant is very transmissible, mas madali po siyang maipasa kaya kailangan natin mag ingat,” he further noted.

Henson said that the amount of the Delta variant of the virus in the nose of an unvaccinated person is 1,000 times higher than its older versions.

“So kapag hindi properly suot ang face mask at face shield, mas madali talaga pong ipasa ang virus. Now, kung samahan pa po yun ng hindi proper yung physical distancing, hindi madalas maghugas ng kamay, so pwede po talagang kumalat nang mabilis ang virus,” he warned.

He said community transmission starts in the family where members become complacent as they mingle with each other sans facemasks and face shields.

Henson also underscored the importance of wearing face shields aside from having proper ventilation, wearing a mask, handwashing, and maintaining physical distancing in protecting one’s self against COVID-19, especially the Delta variant.

“Yung face shields po is actually an extra layer of protection. Habang wala pa po tayong masiyadong maraming datos, ang thought po ng government and experts is by wearing a face shield, meron kayong extra protection,” he said.

Henson said that studies in other countries show that face shields in addition to face masks is effective in preventing transmission of COVID.

“But it should not be face shield on its own. Kailangan po may facemask. Kasi mas importante po na matakapan ang ilong at ang bibig para po hindi malanghap yung COVID. Yung face shield is extra layer of protection lang po,” he said.

While Henson warned the public against complacency amid the pandemic, he also called on the Department of Health and other experts to review other evidence that comes out in responding to the dreaded respiratory virus.

“Sa DOH at sa mga eksperto, kailangan po sigurong ma-review ulit yung evidence baka po kasi may mga bago nang  datos that might help improve our recommendations para po mas madaling sumunod ang mga tao dito sa mga minimum public health standards na sinasabi natin,” he said.

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