CEBU CITY – The Central Visayas region has logged 16 new cases of Delta variant of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), tested from the community samples submitted to the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) for sequencing, a health official said on Tuesday.
Dr. Eugenia Mercedes Cañal, Regional Epidemiological Surveillance Unit-7 cluster head, said the PGC reported 17 new cases of the highly transmissible variant, but only 16 of them were considered as local samples because the other one was taken from an overseas Filipino worker (OFW).
Cañal said the 16 new Delta cases were part of the 95 samples collected on Aug. 8 and submitted to the University of the Philippines’ research facility in Quezon City for genomic sequencing.
“All cases were endorsed to their respective LGUs (local government units) for contact tracing and monitoring,” she said in a message to the media.
The chief pathologist of DOH-7, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, pointed out that the case of the OFW could not be considered as a community sample.
“Although there is an OFW who declared his home address and it was the reason why he was tagged and listed in our region’s data of Delta variants,” Loreche said.
The DOH-7 has not disclosed the areas in the region where the new confirmed cases of the variant were found but Cañal said they are “community samples”.
Based on DOH-7 data, the OFW was from San Remegio town, which is 91 kilometers from this capital city. He arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Aug. 20 and completed his 14-day quarantine in Manila.
He arrived in Cebu via the Mactan Cebu International Airport on Aug. 31 and was picked up by an ambulance of the San Remegio LGU.
The OFW stayed at a barangay isolation center for a night and tested negative in a rapid antigen test on Sept. 1.
Cañal said his swab specimen was collected on Aug. 26 for genome sequencing and later found — along with 16 other community samples processed in the DOH-7’s Cebu TB Reference Laboratory molecular facility for Covid-19 — to be positive of the Delta variant. (PNA)