EIGHT Filipinos who supposedly recovered from the more contagious Delta coronavirus variant from India have tested positive again, Philippine health authorities said on Tuesday.
The cases now remain active, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire told a virtual news briefing.
The patients, who completed a 14-day quarantine, were required to undergo another test, she said. They were among the 16 Delta patients that the Health department reported recently.
Four of the patients were in Cagayan de Oro, one was in Manila, another was in Misamis Oriental and two others were returning migrant workers, she said.
The Department of Health (DoH) was studying why the patients again tested positive for the variant.
“Almost all of them have high-cycle threshold value, indicating a low viral load and therefore most likely they are no longer infectious,” Ms. Vergeire said. “But their RT-PCR was positive so we needed to quarantine them again or isolate them again and we will closely monitor them.”
She said 91 close contacts of the 16 Delta patients had been traced as of Monday. Of the 35 Delta variant patients in the country, three have died.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte said he might reimpose a stricter lockdown to curb the Indian coronavirus variant.
“The reported local cases in the country are a cause for serious alarm and concern,” he said in his televised public address on Monday night. “We may need to impose stricter restrictions to avoid mass gatherings and prevent super spreader events.”
Metro Manila mayors have been urging the country’s pandemic task force to recall a decision allowing children as young as five years to go outdoors.
DoH reported 4,516 coronavirus infections on Tuesday, bringing the total to more than 1.51 million.
The death toll rose to 26,844 after 58 more patients died, while recoveries increased by 5,240 to 1.44 million, it said in a bulletin.
There were 46,806 active cases, 91.7% of which were mild, 2.1% were asymptomatic, 2.7% were severe, 1.9% were moderate and 1.6% were critical.
The agency said nine duplicates had been removed from the tally, six of which were tagged as recoveries. Thirty recoveries were reclassified as deaths. Five laboratories failed to submit data on July 18.
Also on Tuesday, the OCTA Research Group from the University of the Philippines said the average daily new cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) increased by 11% to 701 from July 13 to 19. The virus reproduction rate in-creased to 1.06.
This was the first time the region’s reproduction rate went above 1 since April 18, when the region was still under a strict lockdown, the group said in a report.
“This uptick in the NCR is a cause for concern but not yet a cause for alarm, as it is still too early to determine if this will continue to be an increasing trend,” OCTA said. The daily average in the region remained less than 700 in the past four weeks.
“The trend in the new cases in NCR this week will be important in the outlook for the region,” it said.
OCTA said it saw an increase in coronavirus infections in the cities of Manila and Makati. Manila’s one-week growth rate was 35% and 29% for Makati, it said.
“Other local government units in the NCR with a significant one-week growth rate are: Valenzuela, Pasay, Marikina and Parañaque, which had increases in new daily cases from the previous week of 43%, 27%, 27% and 22 per-cent, respectively,” it added.