The Department of Health said Tuesday that the highly contagious Delta variant could be behind the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in the country.
“Looking at our cases right now, it’s exponentially rising, so sa tingin po namin talaga (we really think) Delta variant is driving the rise in the number of cases,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told CNN Philippines.
However, the DOH official noted that other variants such as the more transmissible Alpha and Beta could also have caused the increase in cases.
As of July 28, the Philippines has logged 1,856 Alpha cases, 2,146 Beta cases, and 216 Delta cases.
“Our whole genome sequencing cannot provide us that evidence yet that’s why we cannot officially pronounce, although as I’ve said, we now treat this as community transmission, and we are acting towards that direction,” she said.
When asked whether community transmission of the Delta variant is inevitable, Vergeire said: “I think so. That is our assumption because of the high transmissibility of this Delta variant.”
DOH: Increase in COVID-19 cases due to Delta variant
The Health Department said the reimposed enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila would prevent 15,000 new cases in the capital region.
“Sabi po doon sa projections, kapag nagkaroon tayo ng four weeks na diretso na heightened restrictions lang tayo ng GCQ (general community quarantine), we will have an average of 15,000 new cases per day in NCR alone,” Vergeire said in a briefing.
(According to projections, if we have four weeks straight of GCQ with heightened restrictions, we will have an average of 15,000 new cases per day in NCR alone.)
“‘Pag ginawa po natin ‘yung one week of GCQ with heightened restrictions plus three weeks continuous ECQ, we can be able to control ito pong pagtaas ng kaso to just 758 cases per day in NCR,” she added.
(If we do one week of GCQ with heightened restrictions plus three weeks continuous ECQ, we can be able to control the increase in cases to just 758 cases per day in NCR.)