A few days after it announced that the COVID-19 pandemic won’t be going away anytime soon, the World Health Organization (WHO) made a statement saying the highly transmissible Delta variant has become the dominant coronavirus variant in the country.
As per GMA News Online, Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO Philippines country representative said, “The information we have clearly shown that now, already, the Delta variant has emerged as the dominant variant. With this kind of transmission, with these kinds of numbers, we are in community transmission of the Delta variant.”
In case you’re not familiar with the jargon, community transmission entails that there is a clustering of cases and there are no longer links among infected individuals.
Abesayinhe also shared that nearly 70% of samples that were subjected to genome sequencing in the latest run tested positive for the Delta variant.
The Department of Health (DOH) echoed this sentiment as well. Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the percentage of samples found to have the Delta variant rose from 6% in June to 56% in August.
“This coincides with the start of a steeper rise in the number of cases in July, similar to what we saw previously at the start of our April peak in cases with the spread of the Alpha and Beta variants,” she noted.
Just how widespread is the Delta variant in the country exactly? Well, it has been detected in all 17 regions across the country, except for the Bangsamoro region.
On the other hand, Abeyasinghe said the WHO has yet to find evidence proving that the Delta variant spreads through airborne transmission. “The evidence we have is that the Delta variant, although more transmissible, is still largely transmitted in aerosols. It’s not an airborne transmission,” he said.
That’s why it’s absolutely imperative to follow health protocols not just to safeguard yourself, but others as well.