According to National Task Force special adviser Dr. Ted Herbosa, the loss of sense of smell and taste characteristic of older variants of Covid19 are not symptoms of the more transmissible Delta variant.
“Delta variant is different. Its symptoms are headache, stuffy nose and fever,” he said, noting that these were commonly mistaken to be just an ordinary cold. “That’s why they continue to go around because they can still smell and taste.”
Herbosa also warned that the Delta variant may overtake other variants of concern in the country, namely the Alpha and Beta variant. He cited that this was what happened in neighboring Southeast Asian countries Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand, which had all observed a spike in cases.
Despite the imposition of the stricter quarantine, he said: “Delta variant is catching up soon and with the known transmissibility of almost fourfold, I think we will be in for a lot of cases.”
Herbosa urged officials to ensure the sufficient supply of oxygen and personal protective gear as well as the provision of “alternate” hospital personnel, should frontliners get infected.
“You saw this in India and Indonesia, so I do hope this ECQ [enhanced community quarantine] will help us brace for the impact of the Delta variant,” he continued.
Health undersecretary Rosario Vergeire meanwhile said that at present, the country’s variants of concern in order are the Beta variant (26% of positive swab test samples), Alpha (23%) and Delta (04.9%).
However, she noted that the “accurate extent” of the variant was not likely to be known due to the limited capacity of genome sequencing.
Photo: HANDOUT/National Institute of Allergy an/AFP via Getty Images