Tuesday, November 30, 2021

DOH-Davao observes clustering of variant cases in region

SunStar File photo

THE Department of Health-Davao Region (DOH-Davao) has seen a clustering of cases of Covid-19 variants of concern (VOC), including the highly infectious Delta variant, within households.

"We have really seen clustering of Delta cases among their closed contact, even if itong (our) whole-genome sequencing (WGS), e, parang delayed na ‘yung ating mga result, nakikita natin na pag may mga clustering (has delays in the results, we can see clustering of cases)," Dr. Rachel Joy Pasion, DOH-Davao Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit head, said during the DOH-Davao virtual presser on Tuesday, August 31.

Pasion said when there is a clustering of VOCs, the transmissibility of the virus is faster compared to the ancestral variant. She added the infection mode goes faster in gatherings.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday that there is now a community transmission of the more contagious Delta variant in the Philippines. WHO also confirmed that the feared variant is now the dominant coronavirus variant in the country based on limited WGS.

Pasion said it is no longer surprising that Delta is the dominant variant in the country due to the variant’s characteristic of being more contagious and infecting many people in a short time.

As of August 24, DOH-Davao reported 281 Beta and 124 Alpha variant cases, which were originally detected in South Africa and the United Kingdom, respectively. On August 29, the local DOH reported 22 additional cases of the Delta variant August 29, bringing the total cases of this type to 48.

While the Beta variant is currently the dominant variant in the region, Pasion said based on the WGS from the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center, results are showing more Delta cases.

The official also said there is a high probability that individuals who had close contact with index cases positive with Delta also test positive for the same variant.

DOH-Davao had earlier said the public should already assume that there is already a community transmission of the Delta and other VOCs after the recently confirmed cases did not have any travel history outside the region.

Health authorities, however, said the same minimum health protocols must still be followed to curb the spread of the virus.


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