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Delta Now the Philippines' Dominant Variant, Says WHO

Don't let your guards down.
by Pia Regalado
Aug 31, 2021
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

Delta is now the dominant coronavirus variant in the Philippines and is driving up infections, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, as it called for "diligence" in complying with containment protocols.

The threat from the hyper-contagious Delta variant, which fueled outbreaks in India, Indonesia and the U.S., also underscores the urgency of vaccination, said WHO Philippines representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe.

Citing data from the Department of Health, Abeyasinghe said 70% of positive COVID test results were found to be due to Delta after genome sequencing.

"The information we have clearly shows that now already, the Delta variant has emerged as the dominant variant," he said. "The rapid increasing number of cases that we have seen attest to that because that's what we know about the Delta variant."

On Monday, the Department of Health recorded 22,366 cases, the new record high single-day tally. As of Aug. 27, the UP Philippine Genome Center recorded a total of 1,789 Delta variant cases, 38 of which are active.

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Abeyasinghe said the more transmissible Delta variant is largely transmitted through aerosols however double masking is not required. He reminded the public instead to properly wear fitted masks, practice physical distancing and avoid crowded areas.

"You don't need double masking, you don't need added layers. You need diligence in following minimum public health standards."

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"I want to reiterate that WHO does not mandate that everybody needs to have the vaccine. We encourage peoplr to take the vaccine because we know it is safe, effective, it will save you from severe disease and potential death."


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