Valenzuela City ramps up contact tracing, vaccination in preparation for Delta variant spread

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 23 2021 11:57 AM | Updated as of Jul 23 2021 12:03 PM

MANILA - The local government of Valenzuela City is ramping up its contact tracing efforts and vaccination especially of senior citizens in preparation for a possible surge in COVID-19 cases due to the more contagious Delta variant.

“We have to assume na nandito na siya sa paligid at we have to prepare at kailangan nating mag-ingat,” said Vice Mayor Lorena Natividad.

(We have to assume that it's already here and we have to prepare and be careful.)

Natividad said the health department has yet to confirm if the Delta variant, which first emerged in India and caused a catastrophic spread of the virus, has been detected in the city.

“Wala pang official report from the DOH (Department of Health) confirming na merong cases o may case sa Valenzuela ng Delta variant,” said Natividad.

(There is no official report from the DOH yet confirming cases or a case of the Delta variant in Valenzuela.)

The DOH on Thursday reported 12 new local cases of the Delta variant, bringing the Philippines’ total cases of the strain to 47. The OCTA Research group also said on Thursday that the spike in new infections in the capital region is likely driven by the Delta variant.

Natividad said city Mayor Rex Gatchalian has been holding a series of meetings with CESU and their vaccination team to prepare for the possible surge in COVID-19 cases in the city.

“In-alert ng aming city mayor ang aming CESU to boost 'yung aming contact tracing sa mga nagpo-positive ngayon sa Valenzuela City kasi medyo tumataas 'yung aming case, sa loob ng isang linggo nakapagtala kami ng 100 plus na cases,” she said.

(Our city mayor alerted CESU to boost its contact tracing of positive patients in Valenzuela City because our cases are rising, in one week we recorded more than 100 cases.)

As of Thursday, the City Epidemiological and Surveillance Unit (CESU) has reported 70 new active cases. This brings the total number of active infections in the city to 316. 

Natividad said Gatchalian wanted contact tracing to be done up to the third level. They are also maximing the use of their Valenzuela tracing app to track the movement of people positive for COVID-19..

Gatchalian, she said, also ordered to ensure the supplies of their hospitals and molecular laboratory. He likewise ordered inspections of business establishments to find out if they are strictly adhering to minimum health and safety protocols.
 
Natividad said Gatchalian also instructed barangay officials to encourage more senior citizens to get vaccinated and bring them to and from the vaccination center if necessary so that they could avail of the one-shot COVID-19 vaccine by Johnson & Johnson.
 
The city has received 4,000 doses of the said vaccine. Natividad said a portion of the LGU-procured AstraZeneca has also arrived. 

Natividad said the city also practices targeted lockdowns in places where COVID-19 cases are high. But, she said, the city government will strictly follow should the national government impose stricter measures by announcing a new quarantine classification for Metro Manila.

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