Manila City gov't learned of Delta variant in capital 3 weeks after carrier's death: Isko

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 20 2021 10:22 PM

Manila City gov't learned of Delta variant in capital 3 weeks after carrier's death: Isko 1
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno speaks to the crowd during a visit at Divisoria in Manila on December 3, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso on Tuesday said the local government only learned that there was a Delta variant carrier in the capital city nearly a month after the patient died due to complications brought by COVID-19.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said that of the 35 Delta variant carriers in the country, 3 were from Manila. Of these cases, a 58-year-old woman from Pandacan, Manila died on June 28, 2021.

"Wala po kaming information. In fact, 3 weeks after June 26 pa namin nalaman na mayroong Delta [case]," Domagoso said in a Facebook Live video.

(We do not have information. In fact we only learned that there was a Delta variant carrier in Manila only 3 weeks after June 26.)

Another carrier in the capital city, who was initially tagged as a recovered patient, tested positive for COVID-19 again after undergoing a new RT-PCR, the DOH said.

"'Yung isang nagpositibo, 'yung kaniyang cycle threshold value nung positive content ay above 20," Domagoso said.

(The patient who tested positive had a cycle threshold value above 20.)

"Kapag above 20, hindi na kailangan i-submit sa genome sequencing kasi most likely, hindi siya Delta," he said, citing the advice of health experts in the city.

(If it's above 20, we no longer need to submit it for genome sequencing because most likely, it's not Delta.)

The city government has traced the contacts of the Delta variant carriers in Manila. So far, none of them have tested positive for COVID-19, the mayor said.

Domagoso said he has yet to declare a granular lockdown in the capital city as the local government has yet to receive an update from the DOH.

"Ngayon, wala kaming update... Three weeks after... Eh 'di magagaling na lahat yun? It doesn't make sense," he said.

(Now, we don't have an update... Three weeks after... maybe they have all recovered? It doesn't make sense.)

"So far, wala po [kaming update]. Kung mayroon man, I hope we will be informed properly, accordingly and timely," he added.

(So far, we don't have an update. If there is an update, I hope we will be informed properly, according, and timely.)

Domagoso said the city is considering to buy several machines to conduct its own genome sequencing.

"Nagpapahanap ako ng makina. Kung mayroon tayong mabibiling sarili, why not?" he said.

(I have instructed personnel to look for machines. If we can buy our own, why not?)

"We always want to make sense in our approach. We base our action with facts," he said.

Former government adviser on COVID-19 Dr. Tony Leachon urged the DOH to be "more transparent" about the 35 Delta variant carriers in the Philippines.

"Importante na 'yung mga nagka-Delta variant ay mayroong full medical report na nagpapakita ng timeline kung kailan sila na-test, kailan sila gumaling," he told ABS-CBN News.

(It is important to see the full medical report of those who contracted the Delta variant so that we can see when they were tested, then they recovered.)

"They should be more transparent without disclosing the identity of the patient," he added.

The DOH has yet to say why they decided to retest the Delta variant carriers, and the time frame between the supposed recovery of these patients and when they were subjected to another RT-PCR test.

The health department initially said that of the 35 Filipinos who were infected with the Delta variant, 3 died while the rest have recovered from the disease.

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