MANILA - The Philippines is ramping up preparations to prevent the entry of the more transmissible Delta COVID-19 variant that has wrought havoc in India and parts of Southeast Asia neighbors, the health department said Thursday.
In an interview on ABS-CBN's Teleradyo, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said it is important that Filipinos get vaccinated against the respiratory disease to prevent being infected with variants of the novel coronavirus.
"Kakayanin po. Hindi naman namin puwedeng pabayaan ang population. Kakayanin natin. Sa ngayon po, ang estado natin, pag umabot tayo sa 10,000 na peak na kaso noong March and April, base sa mga improvements natin kakayanin," Vergeire said when asked if the Philippines could handle the 5-digit fresh coronavirus infections.
"Pag lumaki pa diyan, kakayanin natin dahil poproteksyunan kayo ng gobyerno."
Indonesia earlier in the day recorded 56,757 new cases, surpassing the current daily infections tally of India, which at its peak in May saw more than 400,000 daily cases.
She attributed the surge to multiple factors such as increased mobility, mass gatherings, and the local presence of the Delta variant.
"Sana hindi tayo umabot sa ganoon karami... 'Pag tiningnan po natin ang Indonesia, they had the surge dahil nagkaroon ng mobility 'yung kanilang populasyon. 'Yun pong recent nilang religious activity... that has contributed a lot to the surge," the health official explained.
"And with the existence of the Delta variant which is transmissible, talagang kumalat po ang sakit."
She also said expanding the country's health care capacity, such as adding health facilities and temporary treatment and monitoring facilities, would be important for the country to handle the possible surge of infections.
The country on April 2 logged its highest ever daily tally at over 15,000, stretching the capital region's health care capacity.
The ABS-CBN Data Analytics team earlier said that the situation in the country is showing trends similar to that of Indonesia before it dealt with a fresh surge.
Meanwhile, the government has been able to fully vaccinate at least 4 million Filipinos as of Wednesday, with total administered doses reaching over 14 million.
The number of people fully inoculated from the virus accounts for 7 percent of the minimum 58 million government target, data collated by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group showed.