COVID-19

Delta COVID-19 variant deaths in PH now at 3

Sofia Tomacruz
Delta COVID-19 variant deaths in PH now at 3
The Philippines has so far reported 35 cases of people who were positive for the Delta variant, including three deaths and 32 recoveries

Two more Filipinos who were sick with the Delta COVID-19 variant in the Philippines died, raising to three the total number of fatalities among those known to be infected with the highly infectious variant. 

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters on Monday, July 19, that the two deaths included a 78-year-old female from Baybay, Antique and a 58-year-old female from Pandacan. 

The two individuals were among 11 local cases of the Delta variant reported recently. 

The Department of Health earlier said the woman from Pandacan died on June 28 at the emergency room of a hospital, while the other woman from Antique had been initially tagged as a recovery case, but was later reported as a death after validation from the local government unit. The woman from Antique died last May 30, 2021.

Over the weekend, local health officials in Antique said the female who died had been one of two cases seen in the locality. Both had no travel history outside the Philippines and both were unvaccinated

Last May 21, the first death involving a Filipino sick with the Delta variant was reported. The DOH said at the time that a Filipino crew member of M/V Athens Bridge had passed away after being confined at the ManilaMed hospital, along with three other crew members who were being treated for COVID-19. The three other seafarers recovered. 

The Philippines has, so far, reported 35 cases of people who were positive for the Delta variant, including three deaths and 32 recoveries. 

On Monday, Vergeire said the 11 local cases were again tested and quarantined, following advice from medical experts. “All delta variant cases are immediately reassessed to determine their current clinical, laboratory, and isolation status,” she said. 

Vergeire said the repeat testing for patients with the Delta variant was done at the end of isolation or upon determination that they were positive for the variant. Patients likewise remain in isolation while awaiting results. 

Contact tracing was also being done to determine close contacts who may be positive for COVID-19 and whose samples may be eligible for sequencing, she added. 

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The Philippines’ health department earlier said the country was on heightened alert as Delta cases have been reported in the country. The spread of the variant is battering nations in Southeast Asia and much of Asia where vaccines supplies are running short.

Delta, the COVID-19 variant first detected in India, has fueled concern across nations where a rise in cases has been seen in recent weeks. It was formerly called the Indian variant, and was later renamed by the WHO using the Greek alphabet, along with other variants, to prevent stigma.

The variant has gained attention and concern because of its worrying traits, including increased transmissibility, higher risk of hospitalization and prolonged hospital stay, as well as its effect on the vaccines’ efficacy if only one dose is received. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.