July 19, 2021
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 19) — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Monday said officials have traced around three dozen contacts of the two Delta variant cases detected in the city. He said only one tested positive for COVID-19.
He said the results of the contact who tested positive for COVID-19 did not have to be sent for genome sequencing as the cycle threshold value was high, indicating a low viral load.
“Bago sinabi samin ng DOH ay three weeks old na. So my take is most likely they’re going to turn negative at lumabas nga nag-negative yung mga initial na na-contact trace at mayroong isang nagpositive,” Moreno told reporters on Monday.
[Translation: It took three weeks before DOH told us. My take is that they will be negative. Those contact traced were negative, while one tested positive].
The local chief executive said he does not discount the possibility that the highly-contagious variant may have spread due to late reporting and contact tracing, but health officials insist there is no local transmission yet of the Delta variant since cases are sporadic.
Moreno stressed the importance of tight border control and fast sequencing capability.
“This will not land in our country if we have proper Bureau of Quarantine procedure and system. The next thing we are asking when genome sequencing is done, it should be done quickly,” Moreno said.
There are to date 35 Delta variant cases recorded in the Philippines, with11 locally acquired cases. There are three deaths linked to the feared variant, including one resident from Manila City.
Moreno expressed hope the national government will extend the work of contact tracers that have contracts expiring next month.