Baguio delta preparations shift to high gear

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Baguio City’s preparations for the Delta variant shifted to high gear as more cases were determined in the country.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said that while the city has not registered any Delta case as per the latest report of the PGC (Philippine Genome Center), there is no assurance that it is really Delta variant-free.

“We cannot rely on the PGC report because this is not real time and therefore does not reflect the true situation because of the institution’s limitations,” he said.

He said because of PGC’s limited resources, new variant cases are being determined a month or even two months after the patient turned positive for Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and by then, many had been exposed to the patients and considering the new variant’s higher contagion rate, a lot may have already been infected even before determination by the PGC.

“It is better to assume that we already have cases so our preparations will be on target.  We are preparing for a worst-case scenario,” he said.

He said that every week, the city is updating its compliance with the contingency plans to ensure that they are on track.

The plans include stockpiling on critical medicines, oxygen and apparatus for hospitals and facilities, establishment of more isolation beds in preparation for increased hospitalizations and enhancement of border control, lockdown rules, contact tracing, testing, isolation, vaccination and other Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) strategies.

The Delta variant is said to be more virulent than other variants so that it can cause more severe symptoms and can cause more infections.

A Delta patient can infect up to six persons while a patient with the original strain can contaminate three persons.  A person with the Alpha variant can infect four persons. – Aileen P. Refuerzo

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