The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged local government units (LGUs) on Monday night, July 19, to immediately prepare strategic plans to counter the possible local transmission of the far more dangerous Delta variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a briefing with President Duterte, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said he will issue a memorandum order to call on all local chief executives to be on guard against the Delta variant.
He stressed this urgency with the probability of having more than 36 recorded cases of Delta variant in the country, two of which ended in death.
He reminded the citizenry to strictly adhere to the minimum public health standards as the Delta variant cannot be detected by ordinary testing and may be traced only through “genome sequencing’’.
“Ang (COVID-19) delta variant ang nakikitang sanhi ng biglang pag spike ng mga kaso sa ibang bansa katulad ng India at Indonesia (The Delta variant is seen as the root cause in the spike of the cases in other countries like India and Indonesia,’’ Año said.
The DILG chief also noted that other countries like the United Kingdom, Australian and Malaysia are currently enforcing lockdowns to prevent the transmission of the infection caused by COVID-19 delta variant.
However, Año told the public not to panic even with the entry of the Delta variant in the country as the LGUs and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will enforce all laws, ordinances, omnibus Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) guidelines, and community quarantine protocols to ensure the people’s safety.
“Kaya huwag pong mangamba ang ating mga kababayan sapagkat tayo ay may nakahandang plano para sa COVID Delta variant (That is why the public should not worry since there are prepared plans for the COVID Delta variant),’’ he added.
To prevent the spike of COVID-19 Delta variant, Año disclosed that strict border control especially in the international airports and seaports will be imposed while the local chief executives (LCE) will lead in the aggressive mass vaccination strategy which is faster testing, tracing, contact tracing and isolation of patients infected with the virus.
Through Operation:Listo (Operation: Awareness) for the protocol for the management of emerging infectious diseases, Año said that there will be an increased number of quarantine and isolation and health care facilities.
Año also reported that 42,267,179 eligible individuals included in the priority list for vaccination were registered with the LGUs as of July 17.
“Magandang balita po ito, dahil malapit na sa kalahating porsyento ng kabuuang populasyon na handa na magpabakuna at naghihintay na lang ng karagdagang (COVID-19 vaccine) doses upang sila ay mabigyan ng vaccine (This is a welcome development since we are nearing 50 percent of the total population who are ready to be vaccinated and are only waiting for the additional doses to have them inoculated),’’ Año said.
Año also pointed out that there are 28,598 quarantine facilities nationwide available for COVID-19 patients with 25,989 COVID-19 vaccination action plans submitted by the LGUs.