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First cases of delta strain found in the Philippines


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I hope the Philippines does not turn into an India. :sad:

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1460653/ph-logs-first-local-delta-cases-1-dies-10-recover

Spoiler

 

The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday disclosed that it had detected the first local cases of the more transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus, prompting the national government to put provinces where these were detected under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), which has the highest level of restrictions.

At a press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there were 16 additional cases detected from the latest round of whole genome sequencing by the Philippine Genome Center (PGC). Of these, 11 have no history of foreign travel and five are returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs).

This brings the total Delta variant cases in the country to 35.

The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was first identified in India. It is fueling the deadly surge in cases in Indonesia, which is now the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia.

Of the six ROFs, one arrived in the Philippines from the United Kingdom on April 26, and two from Qatar on June 15. All three have recovered.


The DOH is verifying the arrival date and quarantine status of the two other ROFs, according to Vergeire.

Large cluster
Of the 11 local cases, six are from Region 10, or Northern Mindanao, and “are part of a large cluster of cases,” Vergeire said. The six began showing symptoms of the respiratory disease between June 23 and June 28. All have recovered, she said.

Two others are from Region 6, or Western Visayas. They started showing symptoms on May 27 and later recovered.

Three cases were detected in the National Capital Region (NCR). One died on June 28 in a hospital and another was an outpatient whose illness started on June 23 and has recovered.

The third who was tested in NCR but with an address in Pampanga also has recovered from the illness, which started manifesting on June 27.

The three cases detected in NCR “have no known connection to each other,” according to Vergeire.

Following the announcement, the government placed Iloilo province, including its capital Iloilo City, and Cagayan de Oro City and Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental province under ECQ until July 31.

“The DOH is in close coordination with the Centers for Health Development and local government units to ensure that all cases have been or are appropriately traced and managed,” Vergeire said.

She said the Bureau of Quarantine and the Department of Transportation would implement strict border control measures.

Dr. Alethea de Guzman, acting director of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, said at least one of the 11 was fully vaccinated prior to being infected with the Delta variant. She did not say what vaccine brand that person had received.

De Guzman said that while there were “local cases” there was still no confirmed “local transmission” of the Delta variant.Still investigating links

“I would say not yet because we have not been able to link that one case if it has been able to infect another. But of course, we are continually investigating,” she said.

The DOH defines local transmission as infection of a person by another person who had not traveled abroad.

Since the DOH is still investigating the possible links of the 11 local cases to imported cases, local transmission cannot yet be declared, De Guzman said, adding that cases were still “sporadic.”

Last year, the first two cases of local transmission, a 62-year-old man and his 59-year-old wife, who were residents of Cainta, Rizal, had no history of travel abroad. The DOH, to this day, has not established where the couple got the virus.  

 

Dr. Cynthia Saloma, executive director of the PGC, said all 11 local Delta variant cases likely got infected from patients who got the infection overseas.

The DOH maintained that its contact tracing protocol was in place and should be sufficient to help find where the 11 got the Delta variant.

Saloma said the DOH was “backtracing” the cases to ensure all their close contacts up to the third degree would be found and monitored.

111 countries with Delta
Vergeire said that with local Delta variant cases emerging, the DOH would be strengthening the implementation of the prevent-detect-isolate-treat-reintegrate protocol while ensuring that the country’s health-care system is ready for a possible surge.

Since the start of the pandemic, multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants have spread globally and developed characteristics, such as increased transmissibility, that make some of them variants of concern, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Delta variant cases have been reported in 111 countries as of July 11.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday said the Delta variant was expected “to soon be the dominant COVID-19 strain circulating worldwide, if it isn’t already.”

He added that it was “one of the main drivers of the current increase in transmission, fueled by increased social mixing and mobility, and inconsistent use of proven public health and social measures.”

The DOH recorded 5,676 new COVID-19 cases in the country on Friday, increasing the national caseload to 1,496,328. It said 2,670 patients had recovered, pushing the total number of survivors to 1,421,372. With the addition of 162 who had died, the death toll had risen to 26,476. The deaths and recoveries left 48,480 active cases. Of this total, 91.8 percent are mild cases, 2.1 percent asymptomatic, 1.6 percent critical, 2.6 severe and 1.85 percent moderate.

 

 

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The area where our house is back under lockdown SWMBO said yesterday which is in line with the linked article (it's in a subdivision in a suburb on the outskirts of Cagayan De Oro). 

She also said that the vaccine was now available there but was worried about getting it... I've been gently encouraging her but it's not easy when I'm still stuck in Australia with no sign of when I'll be able to go back home.

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I respect people's right to be vaccinated or not, but if the Philippines is going to recover it has to achieve the elusive herd immunity and that requires say 80% of the population to be jabbed.  The UK is more open to vaccinations but are now reaching the tipping point where almost all who want vaccinated have been and it's the doubters who remain. Alternatively, we wait until the virus burns itself out - that's an if rather than a when though.  

Will we ever get there in the Philippines, and if so, when? 

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1 hour ago, hk blues said:

Will we ever get there in the Philippines, and if so, when? 

I have doubts about that myself, even the more educated members of the family are somewhat vaccine hesitant and the less educated ones are downright anti-vax.

I know that's not definitive of anything other than my family and I know that supplies are still low so vaccines that are available are being used mostly but I worry that as vaccine supplies increase in coming months that vaccine take up will start to taper off.

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I think for my relatives getting vaccinated isn’t even a consideration, unless they take the vaccine into the barangays and set up shop in like a basketball court they won’t bother. Maybe another round of payments with the stipulation that those who want to receive the 5k peso must get vaccinated.

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43 minutes ago, hk blues said:

It's not the best way to get things done but I hope they don't go down the road of giving money to get the vaccines out there as this will simply reinforce the wrong message.

It also creates the risk of people coming in for multiple vaccine shots to get multiple payments.

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19 hours ago, GeoffH said:

It also creates the risk of people coming in for multiple vaccine shots to get multiple payments.

But they already did two rounds of 5k stimulus payments and it was controlled by the barangay so nobody got payed twice.

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29 minutes ago, Heeb said:

But they already did two rounds of 5k stimulus payments and it was controlled by the barangay so nobody got payed twice.

Some of the family got some help, others didn't (not sure why).

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3 hours ago, Heeb said:

But they already did two rounds of 5k stimulus payments and it was controlled by the barangay so nobody got payed twice.

 

2 hours ago, GeoffH said:

Some of the family got some help, others didn't (not sure why).

We received a total of 500php and 1 food pack. Fortunately, we weren't depending on it but it does beg the question as to how much was distributed and how much was received and, most importantly, how big is that gap?

 

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