Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government is considering uniform quarantine protocols for fully vaccinated inbound and local Filipinos.’Once an overseas Filipino worker…

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government is considering uniform quarantine protocols for fully vaccinated inbound and local Filipinos.
“Once an overseas Filipino worker was validated to have been vaccinated abroad, he or she will be under the same quarantine control as those vaccinated here in the Philippines,” Galvez said in his speech during the symbolic vaccination of individuals belonging to the A4 priority group at the Philippine Stock Exchange in Taguig City on Friday.
Galvez, who is also the National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer, said a technical working group was formulating a unified quarantine protocol for all vaccinated Filipinos.
He said the matter would be discussed with experts from Israel’s Ministry of Health due to arrive next week.
“We want the policy for the vaccinated individuals to be fair and consistent. Because we have to remember that even vaccinated people can still get infected especially now that we have new variants,” Galvez said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration were tasked to validate the vaccination of inbound Filipinos.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the validation process was still under study.
“An individual shall be considered as having been fully vaccinated two or more weeks after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series or two or more weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said.
The Department of Health (DoH) on Friday recommended the scrapping of the Covid-19 testing requirement for inbound Filipinos who were fully vaccinated abroad.
The government earlier this month shortened the mandatory quarantine period for fully vaccinated travelers.
Instead of spending 10 days in an isolation facility and four days in home quarantine, fully vaccinated inbound Filipinos will just undergo a seven-day facility-based quarantine upon arrival.
Only if travelers manifest Covid-19 symptoms during the seven-day quarantine period will a RT-PCR or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test be required.
Delta variant alert
The DoH urged local government units to intensify tracing and detection protocols to prevent the spread the Delta Covid-19 variant, following the warning of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO said the Delta variant, first detected in India, has become prevalent in more than 80 countries and continues to mutate as it spreads across the globe.
WHO chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said the Delta variant displays an increased transmissibility of 40 to 60 percent compared to the Alpha variant, which was first detected in the United Kingdom.
“What they are observing right now – the patient is now prone to get hospitalized – the probability is higher as compared to the other variants, and there are also many claims that their hospitalizations are much more longer, and their inflammatory markers are higher,” Vergeire said during the Laging Handa briefing on Saturday.
Almost 90 percent of new infections in the UK has been attributed to the Delta variant, causing a major surge that delayed the country’s reopening to July 19.
“We should know that if this happens, the infection rate may increase, and more people will go to the hospital, but we can always go back to the point that we can prevent this if we properly implement these measures that we have. We hope to continue strengthen our border control so we can prevent the variant from reaching our community resulting in community transmission,” Vergeire said.