SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews / 06 September) — Caraga region is no longer free from the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant after the Department of Health – Center for Health Development – Caraga (DOH-CHD – Caraga) yesterday confirmed the first case based on the results of the whole genome sequencing conducted by the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center.
The region’s first Delta case is a 26-year-old female, unvaccinated, and with a travel history from the National Capital Region last July 10. She decided to return to Caraga but prior to her travel, she underwent the mandatory reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test on August 2 and tested positive three days later.
Currently, the first Delta case is asymptomatic and has been placed under quarantine. She has undergone a repeat RT-PCR test, which yielded a negative result. Her first generation close contacts have been identified, quarantined and swabbed for RT-PCR test, and all yielded negative results as well.
In a press statement, the agency said they are working on the matter through the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit to monitor the situation in the region.
“With the inevitable threat of the Delta variant and other Variants of Concern, we are escalating our efforts to speed up the vaccination program, especially to our most vulnerable population,” said Dr. Cesar C. Cassion, DOH-CHD – Caraga chief.
“We are not defenseless against the virus, in fact, we know what to do and we must be prepared. Let us keep the Filipino Bayanihan spirit alive by working together to defeat this invisible enemy,” he added.
On August 16, DOH Spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual media briefing that all regions in the country, based on the recent run, had Delta variant cases except for Caraga.
Vergeire clarified that the three Delta variant cases detected from returning overseas Filipinos earlier reported to be from Caraga were not local cases.
Netizens in the province were ranting about the non-disclosure of the location of the first Delta variant case after the DOH-CHD – Caraga announced it.
But the DOH-CHD – Caraga said it has launched active case finding to immediately detect and isolate COVID-19 cases. (Chris V. Panganiban / MindaNews)