2 fatalities unvaccinated
THE Department of Health (DOH) reported that eight cases of the more transmissible Delta variant tested positive after retesting.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the cases remain asymptomatic but must complete the 14-day isolation period.
Of the eight, four were detected in Cagayan de Oro, one each in Manila and Misamis Oriental, and two are returning overseas Filipinos.
Vergeire said the cases were initially reported to have recovered from the disease after completing the 14-day quarantine period and showing no symptoms. However, people who have contracted the variants must be tested again for COVID-19 following DOH protocol.
“When we look closely at these cases, almost all of them have high CT (cycle threshold) value, indicating a low viral load and therefore most likely they are no longer infectious. But their RT-PCR was positive so we needed to quarantine them again or isolate them again and we will closely monitor them,” she said.
Vergeire said 91 contacts have been traced for the 16 “recent” Delta cases as of Monday. She said the eight contacts were traced in the National Capital Region, 46 from returning overseas Filipinos, 10 in Region 6, and 27 in Region 10.
She added that two of the three fatalities (78-year-old female from Antique and 58-year-old from Manila) were unvaccinated. The DOH is still verifying the vaccination status of the third fatality (63-year-old male and crew member of the MV Athens Bridge).
The DOH earlier urged the public to continue adhering to health protocols against COVID-19 and stressed that vaccines remain effective even against variants.
Last Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines may have to reimpose stricter restrictions after the DOH confirmed the incidence of local cases of the Delta variant.
The DOH has reported 35 Delta variant cases — 11 are local cases with three deaths.