A fellow of the OCTA Research Team urged the Philippine government on Thursday to be ready to implement stricter measures to prevent the spread of the more infectious Delta Covid-19 variant.

Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, O.P., a molecular biologist, said a stricter uniform lockdown would help halt the spread of Delta, which he said could infect five to eight people.

“We have to prepare to increase mobility restrictions. Just as comparison, in Sydney, they moved to an (enhanced community quarantine) in two weeks. They were that quick to control the spread of the Delta, which is why the Delta is not exploding in Australia unlike in Indonesia,” he said in a Palace briefing.

Austriaco also called on the government to prepare isolation facilities for individuals infected with Delta.

“We cannot have home quarantine. Bakit? Because with the transmission…if a single person becomes Covid positive and they go home, everyone in the house will pretty much get Covid-19…You have to take the person away and put them in an isolation and quarantine facility,” he said.

Moreover, the government should also boost its contact tracing efforts.

“The key here is contact tracing because we are going to double the number of contacts in the next surge per day,” the priest-scientist explained.

Delta is a “variant of concern,” according to the World Health Organization.

The Philippines has already recorded local cases of the variant, and has 47 cases of Delta as of July 22. John Ezekiel J. Hirro