Bicycle rider among 4 COVID-19 Delta variant cases in South Cotabato

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 25 August) – A bicycle enthusiast “who is fond of joining long distance group rides” was among the four individuals from South Cotabato who contracted the COVID-19 Delta variant, officials said Wednesday.

The officials cautioned the public to be extra careful with the confirmation of the more virulent Delta variant in the province, noting the possibility of local transmission as those afflicted had no history of travel to other places.

The Delta variant case in Surallah town is a 73-year-old woman, according to Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr., South Cotabato provincial health officer.

The biker and her family lives in Villanueva Subdivision, Zone 1 in Barangay Libertad, said Mayor Antonio Bendita

He added that the entire subdivision, which is populated by at least 100 families, was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or hard lock down on Tuesday (24 August), following results of the genome sequencing that the resident contracted the Delta variant.

Bendita said that six residents of the subdivision tested positive for COVID -19 and one of them, the biker, was confirmed afflicted with the Delta variant.

“We suspect she contracted the virus through group rides. They would bike long distances to other towns. Sometimes, they are in a group of 100 or 200 riders. They would stop in our town for coffee or water break, [many] mingling with each other without wearing face masks,” Bendita told the local media.

Bendita instructed the local police to escort bicycle group riders from other places to just pass through the town and not let them take their break in the locality.

In a bid to prevent the Delta variant from spreading in their town, the mayor said the access points in the subdivision have been sealed by the police and barangay tanods (village watchmen).

“APORs [authorized persons outside of residence] or non-APORs cannot get out of the subdivision unless they have a negative COVID-19 test results,” Bendita said. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)