DAVAO City still has no reported cases on the highly contagious Delta variant (B.1.617.2) amid the high number of new infections recorded daily, an official from the Covid-19 Task Force said.
“Sa pagkakaron, wala pa man ta gitagaan og notification nga naa tay (As of now, we have not yet received information that we have a case of) Delta variant. So we will not assume nga naa ta (that we have this variant in the city). Even though we have these number of cases, dili ta mag-assume nga naa since wala pa ta gi-notify (let us not assume since we have not been notified),” Covid-19 Task Force spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio Friday, July 16.
This is a response to the recent report from the Department of Health (DOH) on the same day that the country has reported 16 local cases of the Delta variant.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press conference that of the 16 confirmed Delta cases are 11 local cases.
Of the 11 local cases, Vergeire said six are part of a large cluster of Covid-19 cases in Northern Mindanao, with onset dates of June 23 to 28. All have been tagged as recovered.
Schlosser said that based on the city’s, they have not yet also received reports that the highly contagious variant has been detected here.
Meanwhile, she said they are relying on the information provided by DOH.
Davao City recently graduated from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions effective July 16 until 31.
Despite the lowered quarantine classification, Schlosser said the city will continuously implement its Covid-19 measures and protocols to curb the spread of the virus.
“Until such time na mapababa nato atong (that we will be able to decrease the) case[s] and we will eventually loosen up sa atong (our) restrictions. But as of the moment, importante nga ipatupad nato atong (it is important that we implement our) heightened strategies to decrease our case,” she said.
In a press release, DOH said they are closely coordinating with the local government units to ensure that all cases have been or are appropriately traced and managed.
The health department also reminded the public to continuously observe the minimum health protocols amid the ongoing vaccine rollout.
“The DOH also reminded the public that the spread of Covid-19 globally, while being controlled by vaccination, is still being driven by the emergence of variants of concern, increased social mobility, and inappropriate use of public health measures,” DOH said.
The variant, first identified in India in February, is believed to be 60 percent more contagious than the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, according to the World Health Organization.
Public Health England (PHE) in May 2021 observed secondary attack rates to be 51 to 67 percent higher than the alpha variant. In a June technical briefing, the Delta variant was linked to a roughly doubling of the risk in hospitalization. (RGL/With reports from SunStar Philippines)