DOH says rise in COVID-19 cases still expected in coming days

Published August 7, 2021, 2:26 PM

by Analou de Vera

Zamboanga authorities continue to implement strict health protocols amid a threat from the Delta variant. (FB photo, Zambo LGU/MANILA BULLETIN)

The Department of Health (DOH) said that the public should still expect to see a spike in the number of new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the coming days— due to the effect of the Delta variant of coronavirus.

“So, nakikita natin na sumisipa na ang mga kaso. Tumataas ang kaso. Nararamdaman na natin ang epekto ng Delta variant dito sa ating bansa (So, we see that the cases are starting to rise. We are already seeing the impact of the Delta variant here in our country),” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Saturday, August 7, in a televised public briefing.

“Based also on projections, tataas pa din ang mga kaso. Itong ginagawa nating paghihigpit ng quarantine restriction or classification, ang ating adhikain diyan is to delay further increase (Based also on projections, the number of cases will still increase. Our goal for the implementation of strict quarantine restriction or classification is to delay further increase),” she added.

On Friday, the DOH logged 10,623 new cases of COVID-19. It was the first time that the country saw over 10,000 cases after almost four months.

Vergeire said that they are continuously ramping up the country’s healthcare system.

“We have been hammering on the different response processes… We are now expanding beds in the different facilities across the country,” she said.

“Nagpre-preposition na rin tayo ng kailangan na gamit—oxygen, reagents, testing kits, at mga gamot para sa ating mga ospital para makapag handa dito sa mga tumataas na kaso na ito (We are prepositioning necessary equipment — oxygen, reagents, testing kits, and medicines for our hospitals for them to be prepared for the rising number of cases),” she added.

Vergeire said that it is safe to assume that there is already community transmission of the Delta variant despite insufficient evidence.

“Bagama’t hindi pa natin ma-officially declare na may community transmission na sa ating bansa, we are now acting as if there is really community transmission, dahil nakikita na natin yung epekto na mabilis tumataas ang mga kaso (Although we have not yet been able to officially declare that there is community transmission in our country, we are now acting as if there is really community transmission, because we are already seeing the effect— the cases are rising rapidly),” she said.

Vergeire said that the Beta variant of coronavirus is still the most common variant among the COVID-19 positive samples that underwent genome sequencing.

“Sa ngayon ang dominant or pinakamadami na porsyento among samples processed would still be the Beta variant. The lineage from South Africa (Right now the dominant or the largest percentage among our samples that were processed would still be the Beta variant. The lineage from South Africa),” she said.

Based on the DOH data, a total of 2,362 Beta variant cases were already detected in the country. It was followed by Alpha variant cases at 2,093, Delta variant cases at 450, P.3 variant cases at 287, and Gamma variant cases at two.