36 more COVID-19 variants detected in Caraga, total now at 149

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews / 28 Sep) – The Caraga region has 36 new COVID-19 cases with variants of concern, bringing the total to 149, the Department of Health-Center for Health Development reported.

Caraga Region. Map courtesy of Google

Delta is still the dominant variant with 31 of the new cases, three Alpha and two Beta.

These were based on samples sent to the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center last August.

Agusan del Sur has the highest cases of Delta variant with 24 recorded, distributed in Loreto with five cases, Bayugan City and San Francisco town each with four cases, San Luis and Talacogon with three cases each, and one each in the municipalities of Esperanza, Prosperidad, Rosario, Sta. Josefa and Trento.

The province of Surigao del Norte has five Delta variants, of which four were from Surigao City and one from Claver town.

The town of Cantilan in Surigao del Sur has two Delta cases.

For the Alpha variant, Agusan del Sur has two – from the towns of Prosperidad and Rosario – while Tandag City in Surigao del Sur has one.

For Beta variant, Prosperidad in Agusan del Sur and Tandag City in Surigao del Sur have one each.

As to the case profile, the age range is 9-79 years old with 36 as the median age; 64% (23) are females while 36% (13) are males, and 25% (9) have known comorbidities. The majority, 50% (18), neither have a travel history nor close contact to a positive case, 28% (10) are close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 14% (5) are exposed in the workplace.

Meanwhile, 5% (2) are postpartum mothers.

As to vaccine status, 64% (23) of the cases are unvaccinated individuals.

Most of the cases or 92% (33) have recovered, while 8% (3) cases have died. The two Delta variant deaths were female senior citizens, of whom one was diabetic. The Alpha variant death was a middle-aged bedridden female with spinal cord injury for 11 months. All were unvaccinated with neither travel history nor exposure to a confirmed case. One died at home and two were hospitalized due to severe symptoms.

The DOH CHD-Caraga, through the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU), is actively coordinating with local health authorities to continuously monitor the situation in the region.

“With the increasing trend of cases, our hospitals are at risk of being congested with COVID-19 admissions, slowly consuming our oxygen supply and other medical logistics. We are continuously joining our efforts with other agencies and through the One Caraga Shield to provide immediate action to areas declared to be high risk or has a continuous rise of cases. Still, we remind the public that our actions, whether big or small, can be the determining factors in surviving these perilous times. Follow the health protocols and get your vaccines as soon as it is available,” DOH Regional Director Cesar Cassion said. (Chris V. Panganiban / MindaNews)