Given the reported local cases of the more contagious Delta variant, one expert said there may already be a local transmission or infection of this more contagious variant in the Philippines.
“Based sa cases na na-document ng [Philippine Genome Center], there are those cases na hindi related sa returning OFWs. With that demograph, then I would say mukhang mayroon local transmission ang Delta variant,” said infectious disease expert Dr. Rontgene Solante.
There are currently 8 active cases of Delta variant, based on the latest Department of Health (DOH) record. One of them is from Manila, 4 in Cagayan de Oro, 1 in Misamis Oriental, while 2 are returning overseas Filipinos.
According to Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno, their Delta variant cases are related.
He also said that Cagayan de Oro has enough facilities in case it experiences a surge of cases.
In Misamis Oriental, Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano confirmed that 2 close contacts of the only active Delta variant case there were positive for COVID-19.
Emano hopes the Inter-Agency Task Force will grant their request to undergo enhanced community quarantine for stricter protocols when the variant spreads there.
Expert: Delta variant may already have local transmission
Emano also requested an additional supply of vaccines.
According to Solante, fully vaccinated people are less likely to experience severe COVID-19 even if they have a Delta variant.
He said all vaccines given in the country provide protection against the serious COVID-19, even among those considered variants of concern.
Based on the experience of other countries, there was a surge due to the Delta variant. Hospitals quickly filled up.
According to one expert, to prevent such a situation, vaccination – especially in the A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (those with comorbidity or disease) priority groups – is essential.
“Alam naman natin na malaki ‘yong supply issue natin so importante talagang habulin natin ‘yong vaccination ng A2 at A3,” said Dr. Anna Ong-Lim, member of DOH technical advisory group.
Based on DOH data, of the more than 26,000 who died due to COVID-19, 8.27 percent or more than 17,000 of them were senior citizens.