The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed local transmission of the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant on Thursday (July 22).
According to the health department, twelve new Delta cases have been detected – six in Bataan, two in Laguna, one in Manila, two in Pasig City, and one in Taguig. In total, the number of local cases linked to the Delta type has risen to 47 – 36, including the additional 12, have recovered, three have died and eight are active cases.
Citing the Philippine Genome Center, the DOH Epidemiology Bureau as well as regional and local epidemiology and surveillance units, DOH reported that “clusters of Delta variant cases were seen to be linked to other local cases, therefore, exhibiting local transmission."
The country had been enforcing travel prohibitions on countries with Delta variant cases even before the confirmation.
DOH also said that the government elevated its response in areas where local cases were discovered by enforcing the "four-door policy." All levels of government have also been stepping up their prevention, detection, isolation, treatment, and reintegration response tactics, as well as expanding healthcare capacity.
Officials, however, are ensuring that there are adequate COVID-19 dedicated wards, ICU beds, and isolation beds across the country, particularly in locations where infections are on the rise. In addition, preparations are being made to guarantee that hospitals have enough drugs, oxygen tanks, and critical care equipment, as well as to increase human resources.
DOH has emphasized the importance of adhering to health protocols and getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as a result of this development. It further recommended the avoidance of unnecessary travel and gatherings.
Local governments are also asked to reduce the time between case detection and isolation. Seniors and those with comorbidities should be vaccinated as soon as possible.
Ana Catalina Paje is a development journalist passionate about grassroots communication geared towards genuine social change. She also writes about showbiz, lifestyle, and all things Pinoy pride. The views expressed are her own.