DOH assumes border protocol breach amid local spread of COVID-19 Delta variant
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) said it is assuming a breach in the implementation of border protocols after it confirmed Thursday night the local transmission of the COVID-19 Delta variant.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire noted that all ports of entry in the country should be adhering to border protocols set up by the national government in order to prevent the entry and spread of the highly transmissible variant in local communities.
“If you look at our protocols, it has to be implemented strictly and uniformly, meaning all ports of entry and exit here in the country should be uniformly implementing this kind of protocol so we won’t have this kind of breaches and the variants won’t enter,” Vergeire told ABS-CBN News Channel.
“So we are looking at different factors here, maybe there were breaches, maybe there were no assessments when they [patients] were discharged. So these are the things we are assuming right now,” she added.
Vergeire added that other infections from arriving travelers might not have been detected in RT-PCR tests, saying that even this gold standard in testing is not 100 percent accurate and should be complemented by health monitoring and assessment of the individual.
According to the health official, most of the 47 total coronavirus Delta variant cases in the country “really came from onward transmissions from returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs).”
“But we also saw cases where it was locally transmitted, where our one case [was detected] from a temporary treatment and monitoring facility healthcare worker and he went back to his family and it has caused a cluster of infections,” she said.
“Another case is there was this ROF who was not related to the family, but was the best friend of the wife of that affected, so she went to the wake of the mother of this ROF and the transmission happened,” she added.
Under government protocols, arriving travelers need to undergo a 10-day facility-based quarantine, COVID-19 testing on the seventh day, and another four-day quarantine at the local government unit.
However, fully vaccinated persons coming from “green” or low-risk countries will only be required to undergo quarantine for seven days and testing on the fifth day.
The Philippines has so far confirmed 47 cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant that was first detected in India. Of this number, 23 are proven local cases.
Eight of the 47 cases remain active following a fresh round of COVID-19 testing.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.