(Eagle News) — Philippine National Police Chief Guillermo Eleazar called on the public to strictly observe health protocols amid the threat of the COVID-19 Delta variant.
Eleazar made the call after announcing the deployment of more police officers to public places to ensure the protocols are followed.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte said stricter restrictions may need to be re-imposed following the detection of more Delta variant cases in the country.
The Department of Health has said the additional 16 Delta variant cases pushed the number of detected Delta variant cases in the Philippines to 35.
Of the 16 additional cases, 11 were local cases while five were returning overseas Filipinos.
“Lahat tayo ay naging saksi sa mga naganap sa India at hindi natin gugustuhin na mangyari ang pananalasa ng COVID-19 sa ating bansa, lalo pa’t may mga kumpirmadong kaso at may mga namatay na nga sa ating bansa dahil sa Delta variant (We’ve all seen what happened in India and we wouldn’t want that to happen here, especially now that there are confirmed cases and deaths in our country due to the Delta variant),” Eleazar said.
According to the DOH, three Delta variant cases have so far died.
Of the three, one was a 63-year-old male seafarer from the MV Athens; the other a 78-year old woman from Baybay, Antique; and another a 58-year-old woman from Pandacan, Manila.
So far, one of the 36 contacts of the Delta variant cases detected in Manila has also tested positive for COVID-19.
The DOH has said eight Delta COVID-19 cases reported in the Philippines still tested positive for the virus even after retesting.
The retesting took place after the cases completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine for COVID-19-positive cases.
Eleazar said he has ordered all police offices and units to coordinate closely with their respective Local Government Units so that they may come up with stringent measures to curb the spread of the variant.
“Subalit nananatiling nasa kamay ng bawat Pilipino ang kaligtasan ng ating bansa, ang kailangan lamang ay manatiling sumunod sa mga alituntuning ipinapatupad ng ating pamahalaan para sa proteksyon ng bawat isa (But what happens depends on each Filipino. We should just all follow to ensure the protection of everyone),” he added.
The OCTA research group has called on the national government to re-impose the NCR Plus bubble covering Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, and to retract the policy allowing children outdoors due to the variant, which health authorities have said could be up to 60 percent more transmissible than the Alpha variant first detected in the United Kingdom.
According to the DOH, while an Alpha variant-positive person could infect three to four persons, a Delta variant-positive person could infect eight people in one sitting.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is expected to meet on Thursday to discuss possible measures.