Using technology to predict the Delta variant

Published August 4, 2021, 7:49 AM

by Wilson Chua

Several sources have published that the COVID-19 variant B1617 also known as the Delta variant appears to affect children more. Thanks to Alex Timbol for the link: https://spiral.imperial.ac.uk/handle/10044/1/89629. We can use this finding to help Philippine Local Governments to track the Delta variant in their midst. This compliments the genomic testing that provides definite proof but may be limited and slow. Using Philippine Department of Health (DOH) data, let us show which regions have comparatively more Covid cases involving younger adults. This chart shows the rate of growth of cases for Regions where younger patients (0 -19 years old) cases spiked:

Provinces where DOH genomic data confirms Delta variant is present.

Interestingly, under certain criteria, we can flag the same provinces where the DOH confirmed Delta Variant. (And also show probable, up and coming areas as well). Here, we now plot on a map all the provinces where the total cases in the last three weeks for the younger ages ( 0 to 19) are higher than 100:

Ilocos Norte. DOH confirmed Delta Variant present.

Iloilo and Cebu. DOH confirmed Delta Variant.

Gen Santos City shows up, but unlike CDO and Davao, it hasn’t been flagged as confirmed with Delta Variant.

Then there are the ‘up and coming areas:

Angeles City, Pampanga and Mariveles Bataan

Let’s get back to this a few weeks later and see if the DOH can corroborate the use of data as a quick way to figure out the possible presence of the Delta variant of Covid.

Reminder: Data only points to the possibility that B1617 may be already in these provinces. Further genomic/epidemiological tracing/investigation is still the GOLD standard to confirm this.

 
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