The Department of Health (DOH) has seen a community transmission of Delta variant in Metro Manila and Calabarzon but noted the need for “further evidence.”
“Currently, we have seen and observed, especially in NCR and Region 4A, na talagang mukhang community transmission na ito. Nakita natin na wala nang link ang mga kaso sa bawat isa. We are seeing clustering of cases in these two big regions,” she said.
(Currently, we have seen and observed, especially in NCR and Region 4A, that this really looks like community transmission. We can no longer see links among cases. We are seeing clustering of cases in these two big regions.)
“Definitely, I can tell all of you, Region 4A and NCR, nandiyan na po [it is there], we can observe that already although we need further evidence, but there is community transmission already in these areas,” she added.
According to Philippine Genome Center chief Dr. Cynthia Saloma, samples collected for genome sequencing in June already showed a community transmission of the Delta variant.
Vergeire agreed but noted that the Philippines has no capacity to confirm community transmission yet.
Delta variant community transmission in NCR, Calabarzon seen
“The assumption is there. Lahat ng action natin ay [All our actions are] geared towards that level of community transmission already, but as to confirming it, kailangan kasi namin ng ebidensya [we need evidence] because this is a classification. Actually, this is a technical thing,” she said.
The country has so far detected 807 Delta variant cases.
Meanwhile, an expert member of the University of the Philippines (UP)- Pandemic Response Team believes that the Philippines has not yet reached the herd immunity target by the end of this year.
“Ngayon, kung titignan, nasa 11 percent to 12 percent po ang ating mga fully vaccinated… Kung titignan natin ‘yung buong Pilipinas, medyo malabo labo pa po ‘yung December kasi marami rami pa pong probinsya ang wala pa talaga,” said Dr. Jomar Rabajante, spokesperson of UP Pandemic Response Team.
Rabajante added that a big reason for this is the upcoming supply of vaccines in the country. Even if local governments are ready and with adequate facilities and personnel, they will also be useless if vaccines do not increase.