Watch out for Delta and Lambda variants

By July 13, 2021Random Thoughts

By Leonardo Micua


RAPPLER reported that the Department of Health has acknowledged on July 5 that two more cases of the highly-transmittable COVID-19 Delta variant, responsible for driving the surge in India, has entered the Philippines.

Earlier, 17 COVID-19 patients were detected in genome sequencing of their specimens by the Philippine Genome Center, that makes 19 patients infected by the dreaded Delta variant. Of the number, 18 had recovered and one died.

The latest two patients found with Delta variant were reportedly returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) with travel history around Saudi Arabia.

Fortunately, no case with Delta variant has been detected in Pangasinan and in Region 1 and the IATF provincial task force in Pangasinan is already prepared for a worst case scenario in case this variant eventually enters our borders.

The preparation calls for increasing the number of beds of isolation facilities from 500 to more than 2,000 and the procurement and stockpiling of gears and equipment. (According to Dr. Rheuel Bobis, the COVID-19 focal person in Region 1, the health care occupancy in Pangasinan is still below 50 percent).

Governor Amado Espino III is also reportedly seriously considering to restore stricter border control protocols measures.

But wait. There’s another COVID-19 variant that we should be more concerned about – the Lambda variant also known as C.3.7. The Sun newspaper in UK, quoting the World Health Organization, said it “shares a similar genetic mutation as the Delta strain, making it more transmittable,”

The Lambda strain was first detected in Peru last year before it quickly spread in 27 countries, including UK.

Pablo Tsukayama, a molecular scientist in Lima said the Lambda virus’ rapid rise suggests that its rate of transmission “is higher than the other variants”. What’s more worrisome is the report that the Lambda variant can dodge vaccines.

But it’s not the end of the world for us. For as long as we are conscious and practice the minimum health and safety protocols to avoid the virus, we will be safe from both the Delta and Lambda variants.

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Most low-lying places in Dagupan again went under water after another thunderstorm in the late afternoon of July 6.

This was seen in posts anew on social media by angry netizens who saw another water world at the intersection of A.B. Fernandez Avenue, M.H. Del  Pilar and Arellano Street among others, within minutes of driving rain.

Other posts on Facebook showed helpless market vendors with water just few inches below their knees and photos of the cemented road in Barangay Carael completely swamped by the rising flood water from adjacent fishpond that prompted one reader to comment: “Wow, grabe!”

These social media posts should serve as a wake-up call to city hall occupants who already forgot their promise to address the worsening flooding in the city. The thunderstorm came so sudden that afternoon and caught many residents  unprepared and many were forced to wade in flood waters to get home.

I have no doubt that because of the frequency of the heavy rains this season, exacerbated by high tide coming from the adjacent Pantal River, there will soon be cases of leptospirosis in the city.  Watch out for that.

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The recent claim of President Rodrigo Duterte that he is seriously considering to run for Vice President and will select his running mate just delivered a knockout punch to the still disorganized opposition headed by the Liberal Party.

With Davao Mayor Sara Duterte, the president’s daughter, being courted to gun for the presidency, a Duterte-Duterte tandem could be in the offing in the coming 2022 elections against all comers.

With the Duterte-Duterte tandem in place and I think very soon, where will former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano be? Cayetano was in Baguio, in San Carlos City and Dagupan last week. He won’t be visiting the countryside so often these days if he has no eye for the presidency.

With the filing of certificates of candidacy is only just four months away, the opposition in the country is still in the dark on who its standard bearer will be. With the Isambayan still nursing its wound, the LP (headed by Senator Kiko Pangilinan), is left with no other option but to coalesce with a stronger group to survive.

Senators Ping Lacson and Tito Sotto have also started visiting the provinces, raising the possibility they may run together in the coming polls and there’s a big chance they may pull a surprise at the polls. What about Grace Poe and Manila’s Isko Moreno?

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