Philippines detects 12 more cases of Delta COVID-19 variant

Robie de Guzman   •   July 22, 2021   •   109

MANILA, Philippines – Twelve more cases of the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 variant, which first emerged in India, have been recorded in the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday.

In an update, the DOH said the additional Delta (B.1.617.2) variant cases detected by the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) are all local cases.

The DOH said that the local cases were reported in the following areas:

  • Region 3 with six cases
  • CALABARZON with two cases
  • Region 5 with one case
  • National Capital Region with three cases

“All cases have been tagged as recovered but their outcomes are being validated by our regional and local health offices,” the agency said.

In total, the country has recorded 47 cases of Delta variant.

In the previous sequencing on July 15, 2021, the DOH said that 16 Delta variant cases were detected among five returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and 11 local cases.

Of the 16 cases, two died and the rest have completed their initial 10-day isolation period.

“Upon release of sequencing results, immediate contact tracing, quarantine, and RT-PCR retesting were done on all cases and their close contacts. Third generation contact tracing was also initiated,” the DOH said.

The eight Delta variant cases who were found positive during retesting were placed in isolation and their contacts remained in quarantine.

“With the detection of additional cases, it is crucial that we implement enhanced response immediately in the areas where these cases were detected and its contiguous LGUs as well as areas with case spikes with the premise that there may be ongoing local transmission already,” the DOH said.

Health authorities also reported the detection of 187 Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant cases, 142 Beta (B.1.351) variant cases, and 12 P.3 variant cases on the latest whole genome sequencing.

Of the additional 187 Alpha variant cases detected, 179 were local cases and eight are currently being verified if they were local or ROF cases.

Based on the case line list, 54 cases have died while 133 have been tagged as recovered.

This brings the total Alpha variant cases to 1,668.

The Alpha variant was first reported in the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, of the additional 142 Beta variant cases detected, 134 were local cases and eight cases are currently being verified if they are local or ROF cases.

Based on the case line list, 21 have died and 121 have recovered.

The total Beta variant cases are now at 1,827.

The Beta variant was first detected in South Africa.

Meanwhile, of the additional 12 P.3 variant cases detected, the DOH said that 11 were local cases and one is currently being verified if this is a local or ROF case.

All cases have been tagged as recovered, it added.

The World Health Organization previously reclassified the P.3 variant as “alert for further monitoring.”

It means that this variant is still being investigated and information is continually collected to monitor its public health implication.

With the detection of local cases with the Delta variant and other variants of concern in the country, the DOH reminded the public to strictly adhere to the minimum public health standards and continue to avoid enclosed spaces and mass gatherings.

“Continued implementation of the PDITR strategies and localized lockdowns, active case detection, contact tracing, completion of isolation/quarantine, and increased vaccination of the priority groups are necessary to control the further transmission of COVID-19 and its variants,” it said.

“The local government units are also requested to increase their samples for whole genome sequencing especially in areas with identified spikes of cases and clustering,” it added.

DILG hindi pabor sa reproduksyon ng COVID-19 vaccination card

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2021

Nagbabala ang Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) sa publiko kaugnay ng pagpapagawa ng COVID-19 vaccination card na yari sa isang uri ng plastic card na polyvinyl chloride o PVC.

Ayon kay DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, mahalaga ang vaccination card at ang mga impormasyong nakapaloob dito.

Kaya’t tanging orihinal na kopya lang nito ang dapat gamitin alinsunod na rin sa pamantayan ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

“Madaming paggagamitan iyong vaccination card sa ating mga kababayan para makagalaw, para makapagtrabaho, para makapagbyahe. So, given this situation, kailangan po ay orihinal ang ipakita natin sa mga entry points or kaya naman sa mga mall kung tayo ay senior citizen,” ayon kay Malaya.

Paliwanag pa ng DILG, hindi na orihinal ang kopya nito kung isasaliam sa reproduksyon gaya ng paglalagay ng impormasyon sa PVC card, pagkuha ng litrato, xerox o photocopy at pagpapa-scan nito.

May banta rin sa data privacy o personal na impormasyon ng isang indibiduwal ang pagbibigay ng kopya ng vaccination card sa ibang tao o kumpanya.

Kaya payo ni Malaya, huwag sayangin ang oras, hirap at pera sa pagpapagawa ng PVC vaccination card.

Maari namang protektahan na lang ang orihinal na bakuna card sa pamamagitan ng ilang paraan upang hindi ito masira o mawala kung ito ay dadalahin.

“Kung tayo ay concerned doon sa ating vaccination card, ayaw natin itong masira o mabasa, eh di ipa-laminate na lang. Marami pong paraan para maprotektahan natin ang ating vaccination card without reproducing it or tampering with the original,” ayon kay Malaya.

Maaari namang manghingi ang isang indibidwal lalo pa ang mga pupunta sa ibang bansa ng vaccination certificate sa Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) na maaring magsilbing patunay na ang isang tao ay bakunado na.

Metro Manila LGUs, naghahanda na sa posibleng paglobo ng COVID-19 cases dahil sa Delta variant

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Naglagay na ng dagdag na isolation facilities ang iba’t ibang local government units (LGU) sa Metro Manila bilang paghahanda sa posibleng pagdami ng COVID-19 cases bunsod ng Delta variant.

Ayon kay Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos, 83 isolation facilities na ang inihahanda sa iba’t ibang lungsod sa Metro Manila at maging sa mga hotel.

Ani Abalos, kailangang maihanda ang mas maraming facility beds para maiwasan na ang nangyaring siksikan sa mga ospital nang magkaroon ng surge ng COVID-19 cases sa unang bahagi ng taon.

“We’ve had this experience before eh remember nung South African and UK variant nung tumaas in just two weeks, kumalat kaagad. Yun talaga, nagsiksikan ang mga ospital, nagsiksikan ang isolation, pero in a way kinaya naman. Talagang naghanap tayo ng mga hotels,” ang pahayag ni Abalos.

Una nang nanawagan ang Department of Health (DOH) at ilang eksperto sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na higpitan pa ang pagpapatupad ng health protocols at contact tracing upang maagapan ang pagkalat ng Delta variant lalo na sa Metro Manila.

Hinimok din ng DOH ang publiko na patuloy na sundin ang mga polisiya sa pagsusuot ng face mask at face shield at social distancing at iwasan ang mass gathering.

Samantala, inihayag naman ni Department of Interior and Local Government spokesperson Jonathan Malaya na pinag-iisipan na ng Metro Manila mayors na ipagbawal ang home quarantine upang maiwasan ang hawahan ng COVID-19 sa isang pamilya.

“Home quarantine is no longer recommended especially dun sa mga areas na may Delta variant. Pag kayo ay nakahalubilo, kailangan dalhin kayo sa facility,” ani Malaya.

Pinaiigting na rin ang operasyon ng One Hospital Command Center upang agad matugunan ang mga kababayang mangangailangan ng atensiyong medical sa gitna ng pandemya. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent JP Nunez)

Clusters of Delta variant cases seen in Northern Mindanao, Antique – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday reported that clusters of Delta COVID-19 variant cases have been observed in Northern Mindanao and the province of Antique in Western Visayas.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the cluster of infections in the Northern Mindanao was seen in a family while different clusters of infections were observed in Antique.

She said one family cluster may have stemmed from an individual who came home from work and infected the household.

“Ito pong ating cluster of infection na isa, dito sa may Delta variant, nakitaan natin na mayroon isang kapamilya na nagtratrabaho sa isang lugar at umuwi sa kanilang pwesto, at doon sila po ay nagkaroon ng pagkakahawa-hawa. There is a link,” Vergeire said in a press forum.

The DOH earlier confirmed the local transmission of the highly contagious variant following the phylogenetic analysis conducted by the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center, and case investigation by the DOH Epidemiology Bureau and the regional and local epidemiology and surveillance units.

The number of Delta variant cases in the Philippines rose to 47 after 12 more local cases were detected. Of these cases, three died while eight remain active.

The DOH reminded the public to continue adhering to COVID-19 health protocols, such as the wearing of face masks and face shields, social distancing and avoiding unnecessary travels and gatherings.

They must also get vaccinated against COVID-19 when it is their turn.

The DOH likewise urged local government units to shorten the duration of case detection to isolation and immediately isolate symptomatic patients, and ramp up their vaccination and prioritize the senior citizens and people with underlying conditions.

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