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2 of local Delta cases unvaccinated – DOH

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
2 of local Delta cases unvaccinated â DOH
Ma. Sophia Pulmones, head of the Local Health Support Division of the DOH-Western Visayas regional office, noted at a public hearing that one of the two patients she identified as case number 34 is a 78-year-old woman. The other case or case number 35 is a 79-year-old man. Both have no history of foreign travel.
AFP / Arun Sankar

MANILA, Philippines — The two local cases of COVID-19 Delta variant detected in Antique are unvaccinated senior citizens, the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday.

Ma. Sophia Pulmones, head of the Local Health Support Division of the DOH-Western Visayas regional office, noted at a public hearing that one of the two patients she identified as case number 34 is a 78-year-old woman. The other case or case number 35 is a 79-year-old man. Both have no history of foreign travel.

“So far, on the case investigation and the event-based report sent to us, these two Delta variant cases have not received any COVID-19 vaccine,” she added.

Pulmones said that case number 34 died last May 31 while case number 35 had completed a 14-day quarantine and tagged as recovered last June 13.

“The local government unit …is doing intensive contact tracing and then they are doing the back tracing. This means that they are tracing those who came in contact with the two Delta variant cases,” she added.

Last Friday, the DOH announced the detection of 16 new cases of Delta variants, 11 of whom are local cases, including the two Antique patients. This brings to 35 the total number of Delta variant cases recorded in the country.

The Philippine Genome Center has also detected 264 more Alpha variant cases, bringing the total to 1,481.

The number of Beta variant cases also rose to 1,685 with the detection of 299 more cases, while the total Theta variant cases has increased to 221 after the discovery of 55 more cases. There are two cases of Gamma variant.

According to DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergiere, the 35 Delta variant cases have all recovered.

“We’re doing intensive contact tracing for the individuals who are positive for the Delta variant. Through this, we will be able to know if they have links to other cases,” she said.

Vergeire added that through contact tracing, they hope to know where the 11 local cases got the infection since none of them have traveled outside the country.

She asked local government units (LGUs) to strengthen their contact tracing activities to identify those infected or had come into contact with infected individuals.

The officials said it is also important to shorten the period between case detection and isolation of infected persons and contact to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Vergeire added that hospitals should also allocate more beds for COVID-19 patients so they would not be overwhelmed if cases increase.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) yesterday asked the public to be vigilant, especially now with the detection of local cases of COVID-19 Delta variant.

In a statement, PRC chairman Sen. Richard Gordon said the public should be more alert and compliant with minimum public health standards to prevent the spread of the virus.

“The new Delta variant should not cause panic but alert our fellow Filipinos that there is still a threat of the new variant,” he said.

“Get yourself vaccinated now. And even if you are already vaccinated, continue to observe social distancing, wear face masks and always wash your hands,” he added.

He also underscored the need to ramp up regular testing and to isolate the “asymptomatic spreaders” of the infection.

The PRC also announced the opening of its first Bakuna Cener in Mindanao at the Lanao Chung Hua School through the PRC Iligan Chapter.

This vaccination site inoculated 244 individuals on its first day last Wednesday.

“The Red Cross will be there where we are needed. Our goal is to vaccinate as many as we can, especially now that our country has lower vaccine hesitancy. We want to protect every Filipino from COVID-19,” Gordon said.

As of July 13, PRC had vaccinated more than 28,000 individuals. It has plans to establish Bakuna Centers in Zamboanga City, Davao City and Misamis Oriental-Cagayan de Oro in the coming weeks.

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