The more virulent Delta variant of the COVID-19 has reached Cavite, with two local cases detected last Thursday, July 22.
The patients are among the five cases of Delta variant found in Calabarzon, according to Dr. Paula Paz Sydiongco, officer-in-charge of the Department of Health 4-A -Center for Health Development.
Of these cases, two others were from Laguna while another one was from Batangas.
All five have already recovered from the disease after completing their required 14-day quarantine, said Dr. Voltaire Guadalupe, Calabarzon health disaster risk reduction and management director.
However, it was not immediately clear whether the patients were subjected to testing and yielded negative results after their isolation.
Three of them were said to be returning overseas Filipinos while the other two were reportedly local cases or had no travel history abroad.
Keep guard up amid Delta variant scare — Remulla
Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla urged the public to take extra measures in protecting their health in the face of the greater threat posed by the more transmissible Delta variant.
He also said recent COVID-19 patients in the province have a higher viral load compared to previous cases, citing data from experts at De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute in Dasmariñas.
A study suggests carriers of the Delta variant had a viral load around 1,000 times more than those who caught the original COVID-19 strain.
“Hindi natin alam o masabi kung ang new high load strain na ito ay dala ng tinatawag na Delta variant. Wala pong kapasidad ang Cavite para ma-identify ito,” said the official in a Facebook post early Thursday morning.
It is the Philippine Genome Center that has the capacity to detect coronavirus variants, but it is limited to only running 750 samples weekly.
Remulla laments slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout
With the recent detection of Delta variants in Cavite, Remulla admitted its discovery comes as the province struggles to vaccinate its population due to the limited supply.
“[U]tik-utik pa rin ang bilang ng mga bakunado sa Cavite. Makupad ang vaccine supply mula sa DOH,” said the governor.
The provincial government is expecting the arrival of 1.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by US biotech firm Novavax by the third week of August or first week of September.
Only 121,468 Caviteños are fully vaccinated while 424, 582 have received their first jab as of July 15.
Research indicates COVID-19 vaccines are still effective in giving protection against the Delta variant, including those made by Pfizer BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Sinovac, and Johnson & Johnson.
The DOH declared on Thursday night the local transmission of Delta COVID-19 variant cases in the Philippines.
As of posting, the country has reported 47 total cases of the strain of whom 8 are still active.
The Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, was first identified in India. It was tagged behind the ballooning infections in Indonesia, the new epicenter of the pandemic in Asia.
Thumbnail photo from Unsplash by Fusion Medical Animation