446 new Delta variant cases detected, total now at 1,273

August 23, 2021 Lee Ann P. Ducusin 483 views

Community spread confirmed in NCR, Calabarzon

THE country has detected an additional 466 new Delta variant cases, with community spread confirmed in Metro Manila and Calabarzon, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday. The tally of Delta cases now stands at 1,273.

The DOH said one case is still active, eight patients have died, while 457 cases have been tagged as recovered.

Of the newly detected cases of the more contagious variant, 442 are local, 14 are returning overseas Filipinos, and 10 cases are being verified.

The DOH listed the location of the 442 additional local Delta cases:

– 201 in Metro Manila

– 69 in Central Luzon

– 52 in Western Visayas

– 49 in Calabarzon

– 19 in Central Visayas

– 14 in Mimaropa

– 11 in Davao Region

– 7 in Cagayan Valley

– 7 in Soccskargen

– 6 in Northern Mindanao

– 4 in Bicol Region

– 3 in Ilocos Region

DOH declared community transmission of the Delta variant in Metro Manila and Calabarzon. However, it said more evidence is needed to say the situation is the same nationwide.

“Community transmission was identified in Region IV-A and in NCR based on the following observations: 1. Large numbers of Delta cases and 2. Case investigations and phylogenetic analysis showed that these cases cannot be epidemiologically linked to each other nor source/s of infection determined,” it said in a statement.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there were already signs of community transmission of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant in Metro Manila and Calabarzon but stressed the need for “further evidence.”

Citing the World Health Organization (WHO), Vergeire said that community transmission means there is a clustering of cases and there are no longer links among infected individuals.

“Currently, we have seen and observed, especially in NCR and Region 4A, na talagang mukhang community transmission na ito. Nakita natin na wala nang link ang mga kaso sa bawat isa. We are seeing clustering of cases in these two big regions. Definitely I can tell all of you, Region 4A and NCR, nandiyan na po, we can observe that already although we need further evidence but there is community transmission already in these areas,” she said.

Over the weekend, Philippine Genome Center chief Dr. Cynthia Saloma said samples collected for genome sequencing in June already pointed to community transmission of the Delta variant.

The Philippines has so far detected 807 Delta variant cases. DOH Epidemiology Bureau director Dr. Alethea De Guzman said the 807 Delta variant cases comprise 8.31% of the 9,706 sequenced samples as of Aug. 15.

“From June until July, we’ve seen the proportion of samples testing positive for Delta increased from just 6% to 42%,” she said.

The Delta variant has been detected in nearly all regions of the Philippines, except Caraga.

Metro Manila and Laguna have been placed under the second-strictest lockdown classification until Aug. 31 to curb the spread of the Delta variant. By LEE ANN DUCUSIN & CNN PHILIPPINES