MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday confirmed that 9 COVID-19 Delta variant carriers in the Philippines have died, while 17 patients who tested positive for the more contagious strain are classified as active cases.
An additional Delta variant-related death was a local case, Health spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said, without disclosing the gender or hometown of the casualty.
"Hindi natin kailangan ma-prove na ang bawat tao dito ay may Delta variant," Vergeire said in an online press conference, when asked if the Philippines plans to sequence test more people after a spike in COVID-19 cases was observed in various provinces.
"Hindi natin kailangan i-test lahat for whole genome sequencing because that is inefficient and no government is doing that," she said.
While there are only 216 confirmed Delta variant carriers in the country, the DOH said it is already assuming that there is already community transmission of the more virulent strain in the country.
The DOH is urging local government units to shorten to 3 to 5 days the detection and isolation of suspected COVID-19 patients to avoid the further transmission of the virus, Vergeire said.
The agency has also hired nearly 10,000 additional medical workers to attend to COVID-19 patients in confined in hospitals, she said.
The Philippines' COVID-19 cases breached the 1.6-million mark on Monday, pushing the total number of people in the country who have contracted the coronavirus to 1,605,762, according to data from the DOH.
The National Capital Region will be placed on the strictest lockdown classification on August 6 as the national government tries to deter the spread of the virus in the country.