165 of Delta variant cases were detected locally — DOH
MANILA, Philippines — The country has so far detected 165 local cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday as it assumes that there is already community transmission of the highly transmissible variant in the country.
“Based on type, 165 are local cases, 48 are returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and three are being verified if they are local or returning overseas Filipinos,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said of the 216 total Delta variant cases in an online media briefing.
Vergeire said 17 Delta cases remain active, nine have died, and the remaining 190 have recovered. Of the 17 active cases, 15 are local cases and two are ROFs.
But despite the large number of local cases that were detected, Vergeire said the DOH still needs sufficient evidence to declare that there is already community transmission of the Delta variant that was first detected in India and is causing a surge of infections in other nations.
However, she pointed out that the DOH assumes that community transmission is already happening to trigger better management of COVID-19 cases.
“We need sufficient evidence for us to declare that there is already community transmission because there are international implications for this and we also have international definitions that we align to,” she said.
“In our management of cases, we assume that there is already this kind of transmission para mas better tayo na magmanage, maging cautious, doble ang ingat at mas mairamp-up pa natin ang ating efforts (so we can better manage, be more cautious, and ramp up our efforts). The assumption is there but we cannot still pronounce or declare because we do not have sufficient evidence yet,” Vergeire added.
OCTA Research earlier said that community transmission of the Delta variant could already be happening in Metro Manila, noting that the capital region is under a “serious surge” after recording 1,740 COVID-19 cases on July 31. This was the highest count since May 10 when Metro Manila was under modified enhanced community quarantine.
The DOH earlier said that community transmission can be confirmed when there are case clusters in multiple areas and if cases can no longer be linked to known sources of infection.
Metro Manila has 13,335 active cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday, based on the COVID-19 tracker of the DOH. Nationwide, the number of active cases is already at 63,646.
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