13 August 2021 – Mayor Benjamin Magalong’s projection of a Delta variant-driven surge in the city toward the next two weeks was based on data and circumstances obtaining in the country.
In his Ugnayan briefing on Aug. 11, the mayor said the uptrend in COVID-19 cases in various parts of the country including the city’s neighboring localities as well as the various graph indicators of COVID-19 affectations point to this probability.
“Moreover, we continue to receive APORs (Authorized Persons Outside of Residence). Although we are subjecting them to triage and entry protocols and we do detect some positive cases who came from areas with Delta cases. We immediately isolate and send them back to their places of origin but still, we cannot discount the possibility that one of these entrants had gone in and transmitted the virus,” the mayor said.
He said there is also no way of telling how many persons are now carrying the variants because the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) has no capability to do such.
“The PGC has limited resources and cannot do the sequencing of all the cases. So their biosurveillance reports can only tell the degree of affectations and spread of the variants but not the quantity or volume of the persons infected with the variants. The figures they are releasing are only the official cases. Meron pang unofficial,” he said.
“For all we know we already have a case here because we already had had extraordinary cases with high infection rate but there is no way of knowing until the PCG detects it but the process takes time and the infection might have already spread considering the high transmissibility and ability of the Delta variant to infect in a short span of time of exposure, he added.
He said this was gauged from the city’s surge experienced at the height of the Alpha variant’s effects last April when the city posted 1,600 active cases despite the PGC’s report of a small number of cases detected.
“At present, the PGC reported that we have 144 cases of Alpha and Beta variants but our findings based on the analytical tools like links analysis of the cases, we have more, probably thousands of Alpha and Beta cases which I believe are now the dominant variants in our city at present,” the mayor said. – Aileen P. Refuerzo