MANILA, July 23 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Health on Thursday night confirmed the local transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus.

The DOH made the announcement after the phylogenetic analysis conducted by the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center, and case investigation by the DOH Epidemiology Bureau and the regional and local epidemiology and surveillance units, showed clusters of Delta variant cases “linked to other local cases, therefore, exhibiting local transmission.”

The department stressed the need “to continuously enforce strict border control measures and intensify local COVID-19 responses with the local transmission of the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant in the Philippines.”

“The country has been implementing travel bans and stringent border control measures to delay the entry of the variant, giving the country a head start to prepare its capacity to manage potential surges,” read the statement.

The DOH earlier said 12 new Delta variant infections were reported in the country, raising the total cases to 47.

It reminded the public that correct and consistent compliance with the minimum public health standards and getting vaccinated were “the best defense against any COVID-19 variant.”

To manage COVID-19 cases, national and local governments are coordinating to implement prevent, detect, isolate, treat, and re-integrate response strategies and increase the country’s health system capacity to be able to manage cases.

The DOH said that there were enough COVID-19 wards, intensive care units and Treatment and Monitoring Facilities beds in the countries especially in areas with a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“The government is also preparing for enough supplies of COVID-19 medicines, oxygen tanks, and critical care equipment in hospitals and augmentation of human resources,” DOH said. (MNS)

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