NCR spike in COVID-19 cases suggest Delta variant community transmission — OCTA

NCR spike in COVID-19 cases suggest Delta variant community transmission â OCTA
Marikina residents are seen in face masks inside the city's public market in this July 28, 2021 photo
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — A pandemic monitor on Sunday flagged a "serious surge" in COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila that it added suggests there is now community transmission of the Delta variant in the capital region. 

OCTA Research in its August 1 report noted the 1,740 new infections here yesterday was the highest since May. That was when it was still under modified enhanced community quarantine. 

Metro Manila saw a 40% increase in its seven-day average, or to 1,279. Its reproduction rate — or the number of persons a positive individual can infect — has climbed to 1.52 from 1.29 the previous week. 

"The rapid growth rate suggests the possibility of community transmission of the Delta variant in the NCR," the independent panel of experts said.

Health officials have reported 216 infections from the highly transmissible Delta variant to date, along with eight deaths. Still, they maintained there is no community transmission yet. 

As it stands, the Philippines in the last two days saw more than 8,000 new cases as government ordered stricter curbs due to the threat of the Delta variant. 

OCTA in March this year also reported a "serious surge" in Metro Manila. By the end of that month, the region was returned to ECQ and cases skyrocketed to record-highs, leaving hospitals overwhelmed. 

Experts said 13 cities are now considered high risk areas. They are: Pateros, Makati, San Juan, Malabon, Navotas, Las Piñas, Pasig, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, as well as Parañaque, Quezon City, Marikina and Caloocan. 

They added there were 530 more hospital beds taken compared to the previous week, or the occupancy rate up to 45% from 38%.

ICU occupancy in the capital region was also up to 52% from 45%. OCTA fellows said should there be no changes in restrictions, hospital beds would hit 70% occupancy in less than five weeks, and ICU beds in less than three.

Metro Manila reverts to ECQ on August 6 until August 20, the second time it is placed under the said status this year. 

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: September 13, 2021 - 8:42am

Local and global updates on COVID-19 cases, outbreaks and containment efforts due to the highly contagious Delta variant, first identified in India. (Main image: Lockdown in Sydney, Australia in June 2021 by AFP/Saeed Khan)

September 13, 2021 - 8:42am

The Philippines has 640 new cases of the Delta variant of COCID-19 out of the 748 samples it sent for genome sequencing, the Department of Health announces.

DOH says 584 are local cases, 52 returning Filipinos from abroad and four still being verified.

Of the new Delta infections, 13 have died while 624 have been tagged as recovered. — Christian Deiparine

September 6, 2021 - 12:38pm

The Department of Health reports 279 new Delta variant cases in the Philippines.

Among the new cases, 245 are local cases while 21 are returning Filipinos from overseas. 

September 6, 2021 - 9:42am

The Delta variant (B.1.617.2 Indian lineage) comprises 16% of the total of coronavirus cases in the Philippines, according to latest data from the Department of Health.

The Beta variant (B.1.351 South African lineage) remains the most common lineage nationally with 24%, followed by the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7 UK lineage) with 21.5%. 

The DOH notes that once detected in a region, the Beta variant becomes the more common lineage.

August 26, 2021 - 10:53am

Australia on Thursday reports more than 1,000 new local coronavirus cases for the first time during the pandemic, as a Delta variant outbreak surged in Sydney.

New South Wales state, which includes the country's most populous city Sydney, announced a record 1,029 cases of Covid-19 for the previous 24 hours.

An outbreak that began in the city in mid-June has reached over 15,000 cases and spread to smaller towns and cities, prompting the return of lockdowns and travel restrictions across Australia's populated southeast. — AFP

August 25, 2021 - 11:33am

The spread of the more transmissible Delta variant is leading to more infections in households, the World Health Organization says.

WHO Western Pacific Region Director Dr. Takeshi Kasai notes how Filipinos have been adapting to the COVID-19 situation in the country.

"We know lockdown alone cannot really reduce the transmission so it's important to know where the infections are occurring and suppress that. The government is putting 'significant effort' in vaccination," Kasai says at a press briefing.

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