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LGUs told to prepare for ‘intense’ contact tracing amid Delta variant threat

Local government units must gear up for “intense” contact tracing following the detection of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant, an OCTA Research fellow said Thursday.

Molecular biologist Fr. Nicanor Austriaco explained that one Delta variant case can infect five to eight other people, “which is why it’s so explosive.”

“For LGUs, I cannot emphasize that the contact tracing will be intense,” he said at a Palace briefing.

Austriaco underscored that contact tracing would be the key to battling the Delta variant due to its increased transmissibility.

“They (contact tracers) will be more overwhelmed this time because of the large transmission and this is where we hope we cannot lose control: we have to prepare to increase mobility restrictions,” he said.

The Philippines has so far detected 47 Delta variant cases, 23 of which are local. 

The OCTA Research group earlier warned that new COVID-19 cases may spike to 10,000 in the coming weeks, while a doctors group said hospitals are already starting to feel the uptick in infections

Still, Austriaco said “we do not have to be scared. A devastating surge does not have to happen.”

He said enhanced contact tracing, testing, isolation, and quarantine measures as well as the “liberal use” of lockdowns will stem the spread of the Delta variant.

“If we can do this, we will not lose control, we will not have people dying in our hospitals, we will not run out of oxygen, we will beat this enemy,” Austriaco said.

Malacañang earlier said some restrictions will likely be reimposed to contain the Delta variant. — RSJ, GMA News