Delta may now be the dominant variant in Baguio

Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Sept. 6 said the Delta variant may now be the dominant variant driving the current Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case surge in the city. 

The mayor said the city has been seeing a steady rise in cases in the past weeks now averaging more than 890 cases a week.

He said latest developments and data indicators also point to the high probability of the Delta variant’s prevalence now in the city.

Last Sept. 5, the city logged seven additional Delta cases as detected by the Philippine Genome Center bringing the total number of known cases to 13.

City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo said 12 were community transmissions and one came from abroad.  Age range was from 4 to 87 years old, seven were female and six male.  Twelve had recovered while one died.

Intensive contact tracing and link analysis conducted by city’s teams showed a total of 732 other cases linked to the 13.
“Looking at this analytics, we may now have this much number of probable Delta cases so we have reason to believe that it is now the dominant variant in the city,” the mayor said.

He said the number is expected to further rise considering the variant’s virulence and transmissibility.

β€œWe expect our cases to further increase to more than 1,000 each week in the next two weeks.  As I kept on repeating, the worst is yet to come with regards to the Delta variant.  So the best thing apart from the observance the minimum public health standards, is for us to adopt more restrictions,” he said.

The mayor had warned early on that the Delta variant will have greater and longer impact than what the city experienced last March and April because of the Alpha and Beta variants.

As a proactive measure, he led the formulation of a contingency plan using the Dept. of Health’s Four-Door Strategy where controls are put into place at the point of origin through travel bans and restrictions; at points of entry through screening, quarantine and testing; at points of care by implementing the Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate strategy; and management of an epidemic surge through strict community health protocols. — Aileen P. Refuerzo