Delta variant 97% more transmissible — expert

Published July 21, 2021, 1:29 PM

by Gabriela Baron

An infectious disease expert on Wednesday, July 21, said the Delta variant is 97 percent transmissible than the original lineage.


During a virtual Palace briefing, Dr. Rontgene Solante, who heads the adult infectious diseases unit at San Lazaro hospital in Manila, said the viral load in the Delta variant is estimated to be 1,260 times higher than other strains.

“It produces more virus compared to other variants of concerns,” he added.

Solante noted that a single infected individual can infect as high as eight and as low as four persons.

“[That] has been documented in Australia where one was infected by the Delta variant just by walking past an infected person [during] five to 10-second encounter,” he added.

However, Solante assured that all COVID-19 vaccines with emergency use authorization (EUA) in the Philippines remain effective against certain variants.

“All the vaccines that will be offered to you, you have to get it in order to protect us against any of these variants of concerns,” Solante said.

“To get over [with] the Delta variant, we continue to proceed with our vaccination rollout. Because all vaccines at this moment are still working and will work against this variant of concern.”

Strategies such as test-trace-isolate programs, border control, and proper ventilation are also “effective tools” against the Delta variant.

Solante also reminded the public to avoid super-spreader events such as gatherings and parties.

The country has so far reported 35 cases of the Delta variant.