Hospitals prepare oxygen, tents as DOH notes 17 more Delta variant cases
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is preparing resources for a possible surge in COVID-19 cases due to the more infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus, with focus on hospital equipment and supplies like ventilators and oxygen supply.
“We are starting to preposition [them] in our hospitals,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Saturday, following the department’s confirmation of the local transmission of the Delta variant, which has far been found in 64 cases.
The Department of Trade and Industry, for example, has asked oxygen suppliers to increase their daily output for hospitals, she said at the Laging Handa briefing.
Tents are being put up in hospitals, while modular field facilities are being prepared in different parts of the country.
The DOH on Saturday said it had detected 17 more cases of the Delta variant, bringing the total number to 64.
Twelve of the 17 are “local cases”—nine with addresses in the National Capital Region and three in Calabarzon.
Of the remaining five cases, one is a returning overseas Filipino (ROF). The DOH has yet to ascertain whether the other four are local or ROF cases.
The department said 14 of the 17 cases have recovered and three remain active. The DOH also recorded an additional 11 cases of the Alpha variant which was first found in the United Kingdom, as well as 13 new cases of the Beta variant first detected in South Africa.
Of the new Alpha variant cases, 10 are local cases and one is being verified if it is a local or an ROF case.
“Based on the case line list, one remains active, seven cases have died, and three cases have been tagged as recovered,” the department said. A total of 1,679 Alpha variant cases have been detected in the country since the start of the pandemic.
Of the additional Beta variant cases, the DOH said 10 were local cases while three were still being checked if they were local or ROF cases.
One was listed as an active case, two have died, and 10 have recovered.
Virus case update
A total of 1,840 Beta variant cases have been recorded in the country.
Meanwhile, the national case count rose to 1,542,281 with the addition of 6,216 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.
There were 241 more deaths, raising the fatality count to 27,131. With 6,778 new recoveries, the total number of survivors grew to 1,461,749.
Active cases stood at 54,401, of which the majority, or 93.4 percent, were mild, 1.2 percent were asymptomatic, 1.62 percent were moderate, 2.3 percent were severe and 1.4 percent were critical.
—LEILA B. SALAVERRIA AND PATRICIA DENISE M. CHIU
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