Pateros mayor issues guidelines on handling Delta variant patients, close contacts

Published September 1, 2021, 9:47 AM

by Jonathan Hicap

Pateros Mayor Miguel “Ike” Ponce III has issued an executive order listing the guidelines on the handling of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients detected to have the highly contagious Delta variant.

In the latest report of the Department of Health (DOH), seven Delta variant cases were listed in Pateros. The DOH announced 516 new Delta variant cases, bringing the total to 1,789 in the country. Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire did not make an update on Delta variant cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) in her online media briefing on Tuesday.

Contact tracers in Pateros (DILG Pateros)

Under Executive Order No. 27, the mayor said last Aug. 5, “the Epidemiology Bureau of the Department of Health Issued Memorandum on “Case Investigation and Implementation of Necessary Response for Cases positive for the Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351) and Delta (B.1.617.2) variant of concerns and the P.3 Variant with indicated address in Metro Manila.”

He said people with the Alpha and Beta variants “are all currently being appropriately handled in the Municipality of Pateros based on and in accordance with previous guidelines and Issuances of the Department of Health hence, this Executive Order seeks to address directly the case investigation and implementation of necessary response for cases positive for the Delta (B.1.617·2) variant of concern.”

In Pateros, persons found to be positive for the Delta variant are required to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine or isolation in an isolation facility by the government.

Home isolation is strictly prohibited unless the circumstances of the patient make it impractical or physically impossible for the person to be isolated in a government quarantine facility or that his home or place where he wishes to be isolated passes the standards set by the Inter-Agency Task Force.

Ponce’s order added that “persons isolated for Delta Variant and ready for release because he has completed the 14-day quarantine and he is without symptoms on the last three (3) days shall be required to undergo a repeat RT-PCR [reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction] test and it is only upon a negative result that he could be tagged as recovered and released upon the certification of the Municipal Health Officer or any authorized physician. A positive result shall require a repeat of his isolation.”

Close contacts of persons with Delta variant will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine at a government isolation facility and RT-PCR test. Even if the test result is negative, the person is required to finish the 14-day quarantine in the facility.

“When the confirmation that the person who tested positive for COVID-19 virus was infected with the Delta Variant was made after he was already released from isolation, he and his possible close contacts at the time of the said confirmation shall immediately undergo strict home quarantine and subjected to RT-PCR test,” the order added.

They will be released from quarantine if they test negative and are not manifesting any symptoms but a positive result will require them to be isolated in a government facility.

“Whenever possible, separate isolation facilities for cases possible for Delta Variant and for their close contacts shall be provided and maintained,” according to the order.