On July 16, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 16 new cases of Delta variant, including 11 locally transmitted cases, which have been detected in National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon, Northern Mindanao, and Western Visayas.
According to the report, the Philippines recorded its first Delta COVID-19 variant cases in May, involving two overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who returned from the United Arab Emirates and Oman. (Read: Here’s Everything You Need to Know About COVID-19 in India)
As of writing, there are 35 positive cases of Delta variant with 32 recoveries and three fatalities. The deaths involved a 78-year-old female from Baybay, Antique, a 58-year-old female from Pandacan, and a Filipino crew member of M/V Athens Bridge.
Possible Delta variant surge
Following the detection of 11 local cases, health experts and officials have warned that a community transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant might occur and the country could face another surge of COVID-19 infections. It also threatens to overwhelm hospital capacities again if the surge happens.
The Delta variant, which is also known as B.1.617.2 was first identified in India in December 2020. According to several studies, it is said to be 60% more transmissible than previous COVID-19 variants. (Read: No ‘Merry Christmas’ for Pinoys if Delta Variant Spreads)
In a news report on Rappler, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that “All Delta variant cases are immediately reassessed to determine their current clinical, laboratory, and isolation status.”
Debunking myths and fake news
Misinformation, myths, and even memes about the Delta variant have been circulating on the internet that cause fear, panic, and worry to the public. Here are some myths and fake news that you should not believe:
COVID-19 vaccines are ineffective against Delta variant.
Studies show that any brand of vaccine is effective against the Delta variant. “There are studies now from countries where there is a predominance of Delta variant to show that people who’ve been vaccinated are much less likely to end up in hospital. And you need the full course of vaccination in order to give you that full immunity to protect you against the Delta variant,” World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan reiterated. (Read: Survey Says More Filipinos Now Willing to Get COVID-19 Vaccine)
The COVID-19 vaccines caused Delta variant.
WHO is continuously monitoring the mutation of the Delta variant. It is proven that all brands of vaccines against COVID-19 don’t cause the spread of the Delta variant. Each vaccine brand has side effects, but none of them are related to the Delta variant in any terms. The DOH also stated that COVID-19 vaccines can’t make you sick with COVID-19 or any illnesses. (Read: Common COVID-19 Vaccine Fake News And Myths–Debunked!)
You can’t get infected by Delta variant once you’re vaccinated.
You can still be infected by COVID-19 and Delta variant even if you’re completely vaccinated. Vaccination only reduces the risk of getting infected, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get infected. It is still necessary to follow the implemented health guidelines such as wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing to protect yourself and the people around you from the virus.