Assume there is Delta community

The Department of Health in Western Visayas (DOH WV) has advised the public to “assume there is a community transmission of the contagious Delta variant” to strengthen the strategy to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“It is important that the assumption is there for us to strengthen our PDITR (prevent-detect-isolate-treat-reintegrate) strategy and of course for our health care capacity to improve,” said Dr. Bea Camille F. Natalaray, spokesperson of the DOH WV Center for Health Development (DOH WV CHD) in a virtual presser on August 24.

On Aug. 23, the DOH declared that 53 of the 72 variants of concern (VOC) detected in the region based on the latest result of the genome sequencing of the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) were that of the Delta variant.

Other variants included Alpha with seven and Beta with 12.

Of the 53 cases, 52 were locals with 21 from Aklan province, 16 from Iloilo province, 11 from Iloilo City, and one each from Antique, Guimaras, Capiz and Bacolod City. One case is a returning overseas Filipino (ROF) with an indicative address in Bacolod City.

The 52 were in addition to the 40 local cases of the Delta that were detected in the region as of Aug. 18.

The medical officer said there is an ongoing contact tracing of the cases and they are waiting for reports to be submitted to the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU).

Natalaray added they are waiting for the biogenetic analysis of the PGC to determine the source of the Delta variant in the region.

“We consider that there is community transmission if there are clustering of cases and we could not almost link the cases to each other. We need evidence for that declaration,” she said.

Meanwhile, in response to the announcement of Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas that the health regional office will be placed on lockdown as two cases of the Delta were traced from their office, Natalaray said only essential workforce will be reporting since there are important services that should be delivered such as vaccine distribution and bio-surveillance.

Personnel whose services are not essential, senior citizens, and those with comorbidities will be on home quarantine until Sept. 6.

She added the two infected employees have been tagged as recovered as of Aug. 21.

“They last physically reported for work on July 22 and July 26, 2021. The two patients have not yet returned to work as of date. Both are fully vaccinated against Covid-19,” she said.

She said they will be subjected to a repeat swab on Aug. 25 together with three other employees considered as close contacts of one of the cases. (PNA)