PH well-equipped against Delta variant cases: NTF

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MANILA – The Philippines is “well-prepared” against the more transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 assured on Friday.

NTF Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government has scaled up the hospitalization and treatment capacity under the Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate strategy.

“We are well prepared against the Delta. We have seen after an outbreak in India that we have to prepare everything on large scale,” he said during a media briefing with experts from the Department of Health.

“We gave them [hospitals] funds to stockpile logistic requirements for patients’ treatment,” he added.

Modular hospitals and One Hospital Command operations are also in place against the emergence of new Covid-19 variants.

The Philippines has so far recorded 19 cases of the Delta variant, which was first detected in India.

The number includes 11 patients who acquired the disease locally while the others are overseas workers.

“We already have an SOP (standard operating procedure) since we have already encountered a Covid-19 variant before. We in the NTF along with the officials of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) have been called for an emergency conference by the Secretary of Health to conduct visits in concerned local government units with a high number of cases,” he said.

NTF and IATF officials are slated to meet with local government unit officials in the Visayas, the Davao Region, and Northern Mindanao to check on the Covid-19 situation.

“We will really intensify the guidance of President Rodrigo Duterte that we have to visit the areas with a surge of Covid-19 cases,” he said.

In Manila, Galvez instructed Manila Mayor Isko Moreno to intensify contact tracing, testing, and isolation efforts, particularly the monitoring of “possible person of interests”.

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