Xave Gregorio – Philstar.com
August 21, 2021 | 12:33pm
Members of the Manila Police District Station 11 conduct profiling on 28 residents, including eight minors, after they were temporarily detained at a covered court in Binondo, Manila on Aug. 19, 2021 for violating the curfew hours in line with the prevailing enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman
MANILA, Philippines — After weeks of denying that there is community transmission of the Delta variant in the country, the Department of Health finally conceded Saturday that the more infectious coronavirus variant may have reached that level of transmission.
“Base po doon sa mga nakukuha nating samples and the results coming from the Philippine Genome Center, mukhang ‘yan po talaga yung pinapakita na, that the community transmission is there,” DOH spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire told state TV.
(Based on the samples that we see and the results coming from the Philippine Genome Center, it looks like community transmission is there.)
This is a marked departure from the DOH’s previous statements that tend to reject notions that there is community transmission of the Delta variant, as there was supposedly not enough evidence to prove this.
There is community transmission when people contract a disease despite having no known contact with a person infected with or exposed to the disease.
Early in August, the DOH said it is assuming that there is community transmission of the Delta variant to “better manage” the rising cases, but did not officially declare that there is that level of transmission.
The DOH’s concession came after the executive director of the PGC, which screens for coronavirus variants in select samples collected from patients, told DZBB that there is community transmission in the country.
“Para sa amin sa Philippine Genome Center, mayroon ng community transmission ng Delta variant sa bansa. Marami nang kaso na hindi alam kung saan nagmula,” PGC executive director Cynthia Saloma said.
Saloma also told the radio station that the Delta variant is probably driving the rise in coronavirus cases, which hit an all-time high on Friday.
Philippine health authorities have so far detected 807 Delta variant cases.
The presence of the Delta variant prompted the government to place Metro Manila under enhanced community quarantine from August 6 to August 20, but government officials admitted that it did not have any impact in lowering the number of cases.
Despite this, the government decided to ease restrictions in the capital region and in the province of Laguna, which is under the laxer modified ECQ until the end of the month.