The recently reported Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from which Covid19 occurs has become a source of global concern as well as the focus of infectious disease expert Dr. Edsel Salvaña.
As part of the Department of Health’s (DOH) technical advisory group, Salvaña provides insight and advice with regard to measures to be taken against further Covid19 spread.
Salvaña stated that the Delta variant of Indian origin is about 60% more transmissible than its predecessor the Alpha variant, which in itself is already 60% more infectious than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, more than doubling spread capability.
The Delta variant has also been reported by the Australian Health Department to be transmissible even through fleeting or momentary contact with infected individuals.
Based on previous studies, Covid19 can be contracted after 15 minutes of close contact with an infected person, however, the new strain takes much less time.
“This is fleeting contact. What that means is that you really have to protect yourself at all times, otherwise, this is going to get out of hand,” Salvaña cautioned.
With this looming threat, Salvaña also stated that he is in favor of keeping face shield use mandatory even when outdoors.
A decision recently backed by President Rodrigo Duterte, who repealed his earlier sentiment on face shield use not being required outdoors.
“In this case we don’t want to lag because even though they say ok, the data for face shield isn’t great—there is good data but is it not to the satisfaction of some—but this is not the time to gamble,” the infectious disease expert said.