Prepare for Delta Variant, DOH 6 reg’l director says

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The new Department of Health Western Visayas regional director has advised Negros Occidental and Bacolod City officials to be on alert and prepared for the COVID-19 Delta Variant.

Dr. Adriano Subaan, DOH regional director, who met with Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson Wednesday, July 14, said it is inevitable that the Delta Variant will enter the country.

“We have to prepare for that as far as our hospital service is concerned. So I think that’s quite alarming but we just have to be prepared for that situation,” Lacson said.

Bacolod City Administrator Em Ang said Subaan informed them that the DOH is expecting that the Delta Variant could enter the country in about two months so the LGUs should prepare for it.

“We have to learn to live with the pandemic,” she said, by taking all the necessary precautions against infection.

The first Delta Variant was identified in December 2020 in India and has spread to at least 98 countries, said Director Alethea De Guzman of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, during a press conference of Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque Thursday, July 15.

The Delta Variant is estimated to be approximately 40 to 60 percent more transmissible than the Alpha Variant and is associated with increased hospitalization, she said.

She said while a SARS-CoV-2 hit person infects two to three persons, a Delta Variant carrier can infect from five to eight persons.

The Delta Variant is also associated with approximately double the risk of hospitalization compared with the Alpha variant, she said.

The Delta Variant in the country has been detected only among incoming international travelers, there has been no local case so far, De Guzman said.

Vaccination against COVID-19 will help lessen the possibility of a person being hit by the Delta Variant, she added.

She pointed out that the Delta Variant has already hit Malaysia and Indonesia, and has caused a huge spike in their COVID-19 cases.*

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