‘Sana mali ako’: Isko Moreno fears Delta variant already spreading in Metro Manila
MANILA, Philippines — Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Tuesday expressed fear that the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant is already spreading undetected in Metro Manila.
Moreno said he is bothered by the fact that genome sequencing to detect the Delta variant takes some time in the country — which means there could have been delays as to when local government units (LGUs) were made aware of the variant’s presence in their localities.
“Ngayon mga kababayan, ako po bilang mayor ninyo, nagbabababala. Masama ang pakiramdam ko, sana mali ako. Ako duda ko, nagkalat na ang Delta, may duda ako,” Moreno said in a live online briefing.
(Now my fellowmen, as your mayor, I’m sending this warning. I have a bad feeling about this, I hope I am wrong.)
“Unang-una, bago lumabas ang Delta result, it will take them three weeks — para alam ninyo mga kababayan […] importanteng alam ninyo ang totoo, totoong sitwasyon. So ako, ang assessment ko, sasabog sa mukha nating lahat ‘yong Delta variant, masama ang pakiramdam ko. Sa buong bansa ha? Kasi may duda ako sa tagal ng resulta, nagkalat na ‘yan, huli na no’ng nalaman ng tao,” he added.
(First of all, before the result for the Delta variant test comes out, it will take them three weeks — just so you know, my fellowmen… it’s important that you know the truth, the real situation. So in my assessment, this Delta variant will blow up on our faces, I have a bad feeling about this. Nationwide, okay? Because I already have doubts since the result takes too long, the variant may have already spread before people were informed about it.)
According to Moreno, it takes around three weeks to one month for the Philippine Genome Center at the University of the Philippines to send back results of its tests from samples to the local government. This could mean that COVID-19 infected persons may have already transmitted the virus to others even before they learned that they have been carrying the Delta variant, he added.
Moreno said he is worried that the complacency of some officials would be blamed again on the LGUs.
“Alam niyo naman sa Maynila nagkaroon ng Delta, nalaman namin isang buwan na ang nakakaraan, three weeks na ang nakakaraan. Let’s see the clear picture of the objective, may masama akong pakiramdam na kakalat ang Delta, dahil sa kapabayaan ng iilan, ituturo lang naman ‘yan dito sa lokal eh,” the local chief executive said.
“Ang taga-gawa po ng trabaho ng iilang opisina ay puro lokal po ‘yan, but you know, I do believe that confronting this virus and cornering the virus, we have to, you know, to work hand-in-hand with other agencies of government,” he added.
Last Sunday, the Department of Health announced the detection of 55 more COVID-19 patients carrying the Delta variant. So far, the Philippines has confirmed 119 patients who had or has the COVID-19 Delta variant.
Earlier, independent pandemic monitor OCTA Research called for a circuit breaker lockdown to stop the possible spread of the coronavirus Delta variant, which was first discovered in India.
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