Delta emerges as top VOC in PHL, but DOH says no broad transmission yet

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The University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), on Monday said that the Delta, a highly transmissible Covid-19 variant, has “overtaken” other variants of concern in the country.

“Dati marami tayong Beta at tsaka Alpha. Ngayon po sa ating mga samples na nai-sequence, pinakamarami na po ang Delta variant [Before we used to have many Beta and Alpha cases. Now on the samples that we have sequenced, we saw that there are more Delta variant cases],” Dr. Cynthia Saloma executive director of the UP-PGC, said.

The Department of Health (DOH), meanwhile, confirmed Delta have made inroads  in all regions of the country, except in Caraga.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, however, said that based on cumulative number of variant cases, there are still many Alpha and Beta cases that were recorded.

The latest genome sequencing report showed that the total Alpha variant cases are now 2,232, Beta variant cases are now at 2,483, and 807 for Delta variant cases.

But based on the latest run, Vergeire said that almost half of the 338 samples sequenced by UP-PGC turned out to be Delta variant cases.

“Pag tiningnan natin ’yung mga na detect natin na [If we are going to look at it based on what we had detected it’s] Delta variant, it’s almost half. So almost 50 percent po ang Delta variant among these 338 samples in latest run. So makikita natin na mukhang proportion ng Delta variant in this initial and very rough analysis ay mukhang tumataas po talaga [So we can see that apparently proportion of the Delta variant in this initial and very rough analysis, it seems to have really increased],” Vergeire explained.

Despite this, the DOH has not confirmed yet that there is already a community transmission of Delta variant in the country.

However, Vergeire reiterated that there is a need to act “as if there is already this type of transmission happening in the country.”

The DOH official pointed out that they can not declare the community transmission yet, “because we need evidence for us to say that there is really community transmission of the Delta variant.”

Image courtesy of Roy Domingo

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