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WHO confirms community transmission of Delta variant in PHL; DOH says Delta present in all regions except BARMM

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The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on Tuesday that there is already community transmission of the Covid-19 Delta variant in the Philippines.

The Department of Health (DOH) meanwhile said the Delta variant is present in all regions in the country, except for Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“Based on the latest run of whole genome sequencing, 7 out of 10 samples are positive with the Delta variant. Region 3, Region 10, Region 6 now seeing high prevalence,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

The DOH also observed that most of the more transmissible Delta variant were detected in Regions 4AIII, and National Capital Region (NCR).

The total Delta variant cases are now 1,789.

“To reiterate explanation of Usec. Vergeire this morning (August 31), since its detection in July, Delta variant cases showed steady increase and constituted a greater percentage in the recent sequencing runs compared to the Beta and Alpha variants. In the latest whole genome sequencing report, the Delta variant has been detected in 69.98 percent of samples,” the DOH said.

The DOH also reiterated that enhanced national response has been in place since detection of these variants of concern locally.

“From the start, we have responded as if there is already community transmission. Their continuous detection requires intensive approach to further mitigate the risk of transmission down to local communities, which includes active case finding, aggressive contact tracing and testing, lowering the interval between detection and isolation/quarantine, strengthened PDITR (Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate) strategies, vaccination, and the strict adherence to the minimum public health standards,” the DOH said.

These measures, the DOH said, are “effective” interventions in preventing and cutting the transmission of the Covid-19 and its variants in communities.

On Sunday, the DOH reported the detection of 516 additional Delta (B.1.617.2) variant cases, 73 Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant cases, 81 Beta (B.1.351) variant cases, and 41 P.3 variant cases in the latest batch sequenced by the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC).

A total of 748 samples submitted by 67 laboratories, collecting institutions, and different Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Units (RESU) to UP-PGC.

“While the total Alpha and Beta variant cases remain the highest in the country, there is a continuous and increasing detection of the Delta variant in the communities,” the DOH said.

Of the additional 516 Delta variant cases, 473 are local cases, 31 are Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs), and 12 cases are currently being verified if these are local or ROF cases.

Of the 473 local cases, 114 cases had indicated addresses in the National Capital Region, while 24 cases had indicated addresses in Ilocos Region, 32 cases in Cagayan Valley, 64 cases in Central Luzon, 79 cases in Calabarzon, 20 cases in Mimarops, 16 cases in Bicol Region, 13 cases in Western Visayas, 23 cases in Central Visayas, 12 cases in Zamboanga Peninsula, 48 cases in Northern Mindanao, 22 cases in Davao Region, and 6 cases in Cordillera Administrative Region.

Based on the case line list, six cases are still active, five cases have died, while 505 cases have been tagged as recovered. All other details are being validated by the regional and local health offices.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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