DOH pushes strict border control amid Delta variant threat

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 19) — The country must maintain strict border controls to dampen threats of the more transmissible and severe Delta variant, a Health official said on Saturday.

"Dapat ipagpatuloy lang ang mahigpit na border control (The strict border control must be enforced continuously) so we can prevent that it reaches our community and it will have community transmission," Health Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual briefing.

The Health official reiterated that the public must comply with minimum health protocols.

The Delta coronavirus variant, first identified in India in February, is believed to be 60% more contagious than the Alpha variant and can cause severe symptoms.

READ: PH detects 10 new cases of COVID-19 variant from India

Hospitals should expect an influx of patients with COVID-19 if the Delta variant spreads, Vergeire said.

"Kapag nakuha mo ang Delta variant, ang probability na ma-ospital ka ay mas mataas," she said.

[Translation: When you get the Delta variant, the probability of you being hospitalized is higher.]

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist of the World Health Organization, said the Delta variant may emerge as the dominant coronavirus variant globally.

READ: The Delta variant is on its way to becoming globally dominant, WHO chief scientist says