Central Visayas health officials on Thursday confirmed 32 cases of the highly contagious Delta variant were detected in Cebu province.
Nineteen came from Lapu-Lapu City, 6 in Cebu City, 3 in Mandaue City, 2 in Samboan town, and 2 in the island town of Cordova.
“It really validated our suspicion that with the increased number and fast transmission in the past three weeks, we have with us the delta variant,” said Department of Health-Region 7 director Dr. Jaime Bernadas.
He said his office is looking into the high number of variants as a result of local transmission based on initial investigation, but they are still backtracking and doing intensive contact tracing.
“Don’t worry, the variants will really come. As a virus, they really mutate. What is important is that the vaccines still work,” Bernadas said.
The director said logged cases have been already tagged as recovered, and some are still on their way to finishing their quarantine.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, mayors and health officials agreed to activate all local health units to become first responders for suspected COVID cases before bringing them to the big hospitals in the tri-cities.
The medical society earlier said it is “full to the brim” with both COVID and non-COVID patients waiting to be taken to a ward or private room at hospitals. DOH-7 has also deployed 66 nurses to different private hospitals in Cebu to aid in the virus response.
Mayors of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue have not taken back their appeal to the IATF to retain their quarantine classification. They are supposed to be on modified enhanced community quarantine by August 1.
Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Cebu has also joined in the move to curb the increasing number of cases. Holy Masses in Cebu city are suspended until the end of August.
Novenas and fiestas are also prohibited. Only 10 family members are allowed in a funeral.
As of Wednesday, there are 9,233 active cases in Central Visayas based on DOH data. The highest came from Cebu City with 2,355 cases followed by Cebu province with 2,190. Lapu-lapu has 1,083 cases and Mandaue has 793.
—Report from Annie Perez