Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. urged Filipinos to get vaccinated to be protected against new COVID-19 variants, particularly the Delta variant that was first reported in India.
In a press briefing today, June 21, 2021, Secretary Roque urged those who are already eligible to be vaccinated as soon as they can. “Dito sa Delta variant, yung mga pupwede na magpabakuna, magpabakuna na kayo. Huwag na kayong mag-alinlangan dahil kung hindi, ang sigurado po tayo, mas nakakahawa, mas nakakamatay itong Delta variant. Samantala, ang sigurado din tayo, walang bakuna na ibibigay sa atin na hindi napatunayang ligtas at epektibo,” stressed Secretary Roque.
The Palace official also underscored the importance of continuous strict border control to prevent the Delta variant from getting to the country and having community transmission.
“Humihingi po tayo ng pasensya sa ating mga umuuwing mga Pilipino, pero ito lang po talaga ang tanging pamamaraan para mapigilan ang pagpasok ng Delta variant,” Sec. Roque said.
Roque, who is concurrent spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), also emphasized the need to strictly impose the national testing and quarantine protocols in light of these new variants. “Sa ngayon po, ini-impose po natin ang mandatory 10-day facility quarantine at mandatory PCR test on the seventh day. At yung natitirang apat na araw po ay kinakailangan strict home quarantine pa rin po yan,” said Sec. Roque.
In the said press briefing, Dr. Cynthia Saloma, executive director of the Philippine Genome Center, confirmed that 17 cases with the Delta variant have been detected in the Philippines, but no community transmissions so far. The Delta variant, which is said to be 60 percent more transmissible, can be transmitted up to eight persons, said Dr. Saloma.
Dr. Saloma further explained that compared to the other COVID-19 variants, the Delta variant is highly transmissible, is associated with different symptoms with faster deterioration of symptoms, and has twice the risk of hospitalization.
It was also clarified by Dr. Saloma that all cases of the Delta variant that were detected through genome surveillance, were from international travelers. She assured that since all of the cases were caught in ports of entry and in quarantine areas, the cases were immediately contained.
Meanwhile, on the matter of face shields, Sec. Roque clarified that what the IATF appealed is the continued use of face shields indoors and in public transportation.
“Hindi na po inapela yung pagsusuot ng face shield sa labas, pero importante ko pong ulit-ulitin na kasama pa rin yung mga pampublikong transportasyon at yung mga indoors, kasama po dyan po yung mga palengke na matao at mga malls,” said Roque.
On another matter, Sec. Roque mentioned in the said press briefing the signing of a supply agreement for the purchase of 40 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer. Roque said that because of this supply agreement, the Philippines has secured some 113 million vaccine doses.
Roque also reported that as of June 20, 2021, a total of 12,705,870 vaccine doses have already arrived in the Philippines. Of this number, 8,222,759 vaccine doses have been administered, as of June 19, 2021. The Palace spokesperson also mentioned that the Philippines recorded the highest daily vaccination rate last June 15, 2021, with 322,929 vaccine doses administered. ### OPS-PCOO