MANILA - The Delta variant's threat to the Philippines is "so great" that it may result in another lockdown and lack of oxygen supply, the OCTA Research Group said Wednesday as it urged local governments to comply with the national quarantine policy.
The Delta variant is twice more infectious than the Alpha variant first reported in the UK, which is a COVID-19 mutation that is 60 percent more contagious than the virus' original strain, authorities earlier said.
If a person who carries the Delta variant returns home, "it is absolutely certain that person will infect everyone in the house," said biology professor Fr. Nicanor Austriaco.
"When we’re talking about the Delta threat, the threat is so great, another lockdown, running out of oxygen in the Philippines, that kind of threat is so expensive, so devastating that we're asking our (fellow) Filipinos as I understand to sacrifice," he told ANC's Headstart.
"Keep in mind that Australia had one of the strictest quarantines and the Delta variant sneaked through that 14-day mandatory quarantine."
The Delta variant also "appears to affect children at higher numbers," Austriaco added.
The 10-day quarantine for fully-vaccinated travelers entering the country is "99.9 percent effective," according to the biology professor.
"One of the big question marks with quarantines is that different vaccines may have different transmissibility," he said.
"There's effective immunity where I do not get sick versus sterilizing immunity I don’t get sick and I cannot give it to you," he added, noting that some vaccines have no available data on virus transmissibility.
The Philippines has so far reported 19 cases of the Delta variant, the health department said Monday.
India, where the Delta variant was first reported, had suffered from a lack of oxygen supply and recorded thousands of death.