CNN Philippines – A health expert is urging caution over small gatherings following the detection of the first local cases of the more contagious Delta variant in the country, saying these are potential superspreader events.
The Department of Health (DOH) detected 16 new Delta coronavirus variant cases, including 11 local infections. Of the 11, one died while 10 others recovered, DOH said.
“Now that we have a more transmissible variant circulating locally, then we need to make sure that no mass gatherings are held and even the small social gatherings that are held within families or workgroups, we should rethink these gatherings because they can really be potential superspreader events,” Dr. Anna Ong-Lim said in an online forum hosted by the DOH.
Other measures that the public can take to prevent the feared variant from further spreading are immediately undergoing a test once they exhibit coronavirus-like symptoms, and getting vaccinated as well as completing the recommended doses as scheduled if they are part of the eligible population, Ong-Lim said.
She also said the country’s healthcare capacity must be increased in anticipation of a surge due to the Delta variant.
“Alam naman natin ‘yung mga nakita natin sa iba’t ibang bansa na kung saan pumasok ang Delta talagang mabilis na napuno ang kanilang healthcare capacity, na-overwhelm. We don’t want to be in the same situation,” Ong-Lim said.
The expert also underscored the need to maintain strict border controls, implement quarantine rules, and enhance the country’s capability to detect new variant cases, which she described as “one of the important tools that have allowed us to keep one step ahead of the game.”