Local transmission of Delta variant confirmed by DOH; NCR must brace for new surge

Photo by Frank Schuengel via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by Frank Schuengel via Wikimedia Commons

It’s really here, and we should brace ourselves for what’s coming.

The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed in a press release today that there have been locally transmitted cases of the Covid-19 Delta variant. Local transmission indicates that the infection was linked to another local case—signaling that the virus has begun to spread.

“Following the phylogenetic analysis conducted by the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center, and case investigation by the DOH Epidemiology Bureau and the regional and local epidemiology and surveillance units, clusters of Delta variant cases were seen to be linked to other local cases, therefore, exhibiting local transmission,” the DOH press release reads.

This comes on the heels of a recommendation from the OCTA Research Group to impose stricter quarantine protocols following an increase in Covid-19 infections in the National Capital Region (NCR), which the independent research organization believes is part of the early stages of a surge.

“The OCTA research group believes that a surge in its early stages has started in the NCR. OCTA believes that an urgent and decisive response from the national government and the LGUs is needed to reverse the growing trend in cases,” OCTA said in a statement released yesterday.

The group’s latest monitoring report showed that the reproduction number—which represents the number of people an infection is passed on to—increased to 1.15 for the period of July 15 to 21 in the NCR, a 0.24 increase from 0.91 reproduction number the previous week. A number greater than 1 may lead to an explosion in the number of cases.

The uptick “cannot be underestimated because of the reality that it may be driven by the Delta variant,” said OCTA, urging the government to act decisively with stricter quarantines, expanded testing, contact tracing, and regional and localized lockdowns.

Read: Local cases of the Delta variant have been found. Will your vaccine work against it?


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