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Delta Variant: PH Confirms Local Transmission, What Does It Mean?

What you need to know.
by Arianne Merez
Just now
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

The Philippines late on Thursday confirmed the local transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant of coronavirus, raising worries over a possible surge in infections like what is happening in the rest of Southeast Asia.

The Department of Health confirmed local cases of the Delta variant just days earlier.

"Clusters of Delta variant cases were seen to be linked to other local cases, therefore, exhibiting local transmission," the DOH said.

What does local transmission mean? 

According to the  World Health Organization, local transmission "indicates locations where the source of infection is within the reporting location."

As previously explained by DOH spokesperson Usec. Rosario Vergeire too, local transmission occurs where there is a confirmed COVID-19 case in the community who has infected other people surrounding him or her.

This is different from community transmission which happens when there is a confirmed COVID-19 case in a community but the source of the infection can no longer be identified.

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What is the government doing about it?

The Department of Health said "enhanced COVID-19 response" has been initiated in areas where Delta variant cases were detected.

"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," the DOH said.

The country's travel ban on countries that have reported outbreaks of the Delta variant remains in place.

Filipinos are encouraged to avoid gatherings and unnecessary travel as a precautionary measure against the spread of the Delta variant. Minimum health standards such as social distancing and wearing of face masks should regularly be observed.

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"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 said.

The Philippines is in a race to inoculate at least half of its 109 million population this year.

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