119 new Delta cases detected push PH’s total to 450

Bonz Magsambol
119 new Delta cases detected push PH’s total to 450

PANDEMIC-HIT PH. People queue for free provisions at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Quezon City, which houses the Mahinhin Community Pantry on April 21.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

The Department of Health says that 78% or 93 of the new cases are local infections

The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday, August 6, reported 119 new cases of the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant which is ravaging Southeast Asia.

Of the 119 new cases, 78% or 93 are local cases; 20 are returning overseas Filipinos; and 6 are still for verification.

The DOH said the indicated addresses of the new local cases are: Metro Manila, 18; Calabarzon, 14; Central Luzon, 18; Western Visayas, 31; Northern Mindanao, 8; Central Visayas, 1; Eastern Samar, 1; Zamboanga Peninsula, 1; and Cordillera Administrative Region.

“Based on the case line list, 118 cases have been tagged as recovered while one has an outcome that is being verified. All other information is being validated by our regional and local health offices,” the DOH said.

The Philippines now has 450 known cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant, but there are concerns that the actual number may be far higher, as the Philippine Genome Center is only sequencing a small percentage of the positive cases.

While evidence for community transmission is still being studied, the DOH said that the government “should act aggressively as if there is already community transmission.”

Community transmission means there are multiple unrelated clusters in several parts of a country or sources of infection are no longer traceable as large numbers of cases are not linkable to transmission chains.

On Friday, the DOH said that all local government units in virus epicenter Metro Manila have case of the highly infectious variant.

Metro Manila, or the National Capital Region (NCR), is under the strictest form of lockdown – called the enhanced community quarantine – starting Friday until August 20. It is composed of 17 local government units (LGUs), including the capital Manila.

The fact that Delta is now regarded as the “fastest and the fittest” variant of SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 also gives reason to assume there are more cases than what is currently being reported. If the original virus can infect about three people, and the Alpha variant can infect some four to five, Delta can infect up to eight people. 

More cases of other highly infectious variants

The DOH also reported the detection of 125 cases of the Alpha variant, 94 cases of the Beta variant, and 11 new cases of the Theta variant.

This means the country now has a total of 2,093 cases of the Alpha variant, 2,362 cases of the Beta variant, and 287 cases of the Theta variant. –

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.