It is said that there may be a local transmission of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the country.
According to OCTA Research Fellow Guido David, it is possible that there is already local transmission of the Delta variant in the Philippines because the release of the results of genome sequencing in the country is not real-time.
“Baka may pagkalat na ng Delta variant sa bansa natin pero di natin alam kung nasaan siya,” said David.
The DOH acknowledged that the nation’s capability with the genome sequencing or system and testing needed to determine what variant of COVID-19 a patient has is still needed.
So far, only 750 samples can be sequenced by the DOH per week, less than 1 percent of the COVID-19 cases recorded within 7 days.
Local transmission of Delta variant possible but location unknown – OCTA
“We are not covering the entirety of all of those turning positive because of our capacity. We recognize the fact na kailangan mag-expand tayo para mas ma-test ‘yung iba pa,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
So far, 3 of the 35 confirmed Delta variant cases have died. A 63-year-old crew member from the MV Athens died in May and a 78-year-old woman from Antique. A 58-year-old woman from Pandacan in Manila also died last month.
The DOH has notified hospitals to increase their capacities in preparation for the increase in cases due to the contagious variant.
“The Delta variant is highly transmittable. It’s 43 to 90 percent transmissible than the UK variant. Ang Delta variant can infect up to 8 persons in just one sitting,” said Vergeire.
According to the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, it is easy for hospitals to expand wards. Still, they may lack nurses and other medical frontliners if the number of moderate and severe COVID-19 cases increases.