MANILA -- The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday further emphasized the need to continuously enforce strict border control measures and intensify local COVID-19 responses with the local transmission of the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant in the Philippines. The country has been implementing travel bans and stringent border control measures to delay the entry of the variant, giving the country a headstart to prepare its capacity to manage potential surges.
Following the phylogenetic analysis conducted by the University of the Philippines - Philippine Genome Center, and case investigation by the DOH Epidemiology Bureau and the regional and local epidemiology and surveillance units, clusters of Delta variant cases were seen to be linked to other local cases, therefore, exhibiting local transmission.
Upon detection of local cases with the Delta variant, the DOH explained that the government has initiated enhanced COVID-19 response in areas where Delta variant cases were detected through the implementation of the four-door strategy. Both the national and local governments have been continuously working together to intensify the implementation of the prevent, detect, isolate, treat, and re-integrate response strategies and increase the country’s health system capacity to be able to manage cases.
Furthermore, the government together with other National Government Agencies, Centers for Health Development, local government units (LGUs), and the private sector, has been ensuring that there are enough COVID-19-dedicated ward, ICU, and TTMF beds in the country, especially in areas experiencing case spikes. The government is also preparing for enough supplies of COVID-19 medicines, oxygen tanks, and critical care equipment in hospitals and augmentation of human resources.
The DOH reminds the public that while the government is strengthening the implementation of PDITR at the local level and augmenting the healthcare capacity, the best defense against any COVID-19 variant is still the correct and consistent adherence to the minimum public health standards and getting vaccinated when it is their turn.
Moreover, the public is advised to avoid unnecessary travels and gatherings. DOH urges LGUs to shorten the duration of case detection to isolation and immediately isolate symptomatic patients, and ramp up their vaccination and prioritize the senior citizens and people with underlying conditions. The DOH further calls on everyone to work together to beat the COVID-19 pandemic. (DOH)