A 3-year-old male child and a fully vaccinated 63-year-old woman, both from Barangay Mansilingan, are the two new cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant in this city.
City Administrator Em Ang, who also heads the Emergency Operations Center, said they received the report from the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) on Monday, August 16.
She said the child was infected by his father, a security guard who works for a local bank. He was swabbed for a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test on July 15, at the height of the surge in local cases, and was described as asymptomatic.
“The father also tested positive for COVID-19, but his specimen did not qualify for sequencing because the cycle threshold is above 30,” Ang told Rappler. Both have since recovered.
Cycle threshold or CT value is the measure of the viral load of a patient and is used by clinicians to further confirm the RT-PCR test of a positive case. In January, Department of Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire said the government shifted from random checking for variants of all those who tested positive for COVID-19 to those who have less than 30 CT value.
The woman, fully vaccinated with Sinovac, showed symptoms of COVID-19 when she was swabbed on July 23. She has also recovered.
The city government announced on Friday, August 13, the first two Delta variant cases here. Both got infected through local transmission.
A 71-year-old man from Barangay Banago, a congested coastal area on the city’s northern edge, was asymptomatic when he was swabbed on July 15. Five members of his household also turned out positive with mild symptoms, based on their tests, but did not require hospital admission.
The second Delta variant case was a 32-year-old pregnant woman from Barangay Sum-ag. She got swabbed on July 19 as a requirement for pregnant women on their 36th week of pregnancy onwards.
Bacolod’s general community quarantine with heightened restrictions has been extended until the end of August.
Despite reports of new Delta variant cases, the number of new COVID-19 cases and hospital utilization rates are on a downward trend. On Saturday, August 14, the city reported only 12 new cases, down from 38 on August 13, 24 on August 12, and 49 on August 11. There were no new deaths and 23 recoveries.
Experts say the Delta variant is 60% more transmissible than the original COVID-19 strain.
There is no way of tracking how the Delta variant entered the city, Ang said, because the first two cases are considered local transmission. This means they had no travel history nor contact with known COVID-19 cases.
Bacolod started the year with only 151 new cases in January and only 80 in February before jumping to 269 in March.
The surge came in April with 1,407 new cases, May with 2,215, and an all-time high of 3,557 cases in June, before dropping to 2,259 in July. Only 475 cases were reported in the first two weeks of August. – Rappler.com