The Center for Health Development of the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol confirmed on Aug. 28, this year, that the highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19 has been detected in four cases in Naga City.
In its advisory, the DOH has informed Mayor Nelson Legacion that four individuals were tested positive for the dreaded strain of Covid-19 sometime in July. The report, which was only made available early in this month, was based on the result of genome sequencing that normally takes several weeks to develop.
Genomic sequencing examines the virus sample taken from a diagnosed patient and differentiates or compares it with other cases. The process allows medical authorities and researchers to read and decipher the genetic information found.
Allen Reondanga, head of the Naga City Events, Protocol, and Public Information Office (CEPPIO), said that based on the report by a monitoring and contact tracing team of the city, it appeared that one of the four cases is a female resident of the city and works at a government office in the province of Camarines Sur.
“The three other cases were direct contacts of the person who was tested positive for Covid-19 being members of the latter’s team manning a border control point in Del Gallego town,” Reondanga said.
There were two border control points then in the area, one was being operated by a team from the Naga City government while the other by a group from Camarines Sur provincial government.
The Naga City Monitoring and Contact Tracing Group found out that within the span of just seven days, there were 17 people who got infected with the virus. “The situation showed how highly contagious the Delta strain is,” he said.
This case of Delta strain in the city has spread to fourth generation just in seven days, infecting such number of individuals. No death among the infected was reported or treated as emergency case.
Legacion said that it is wise and necessary to continue to practice Covid-19 pandemic safety measures as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads rapidly. He even enjoined vaccinated persons to take protective measures by wearing face masks consistently, observe physical distance (avoid crowding), be in ventilated spaces, and keep hands always clean.
The DOH advisory also mentioned Barangay La Medalla in the municipality of Baao, where a case of Delta variant was detected along with the Barangays of Matalisay, Bagumbayan, and Malinao in Libmanan town with one case each.
Barangay Sto. Domingo in Nabua town has recorded two cases while one case each in Barangay Sagurong in Pili and Barangay Salvacion in Ocampo.
The city’s Covid-19 Incident Management Team (IMT) already sent proposals to Legacion to upgrade and escalate all course of actions that the LGU has undertaken as Covid-19 responses.
The IMT Security Enforcement Task Force headed by Police Lt. Col. Errol Garchitorena said that he is recommending to require all Naga-bound passengers to present travel pass at the border control regardless of their places of origin.
“The purpose is to limit the people entering the city from any town, province and region, especially those who have no essential business or purpose like when we are in modified enhance community quarantine, although we are observing at present the protocols and standards of a general community quarantine with heightened restrictions,” Garchitorena said.
The task force is also studying the reinstitution of barangay control points if the situation so warrants to limit the entry of persons from one barangay to another to prevent community transmission. Border control points in the barangays had been effective in the implementation of strict mobility restrictions.
The IMT also recommended to increase the present bed capacity of 320 as quarantine and treatment center at the Camarines Sur National High School. Light to moderate patients will be quarantined separately from those who await RT-PCR/swab test results and those considered close contacts.