NINE of the 22 new Covid-19 Delta cases reported on Sunday, August 29, 2021, in Davao Region came from Davao Occidental.The 22 additional cases in the region were among the 516 additional Delta cases in the country reported by the Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday, August 29, 2021.According to the DOH-Davao report on Sunday evening, one of the 22 Delta cases was among the 169 specimens sent last July 29 for whole-genome sequencing. Two of the cases were from the 230 specimens sent last August 5, while the 19 detected cases were from the 214 specimens sent last August 12.Based on the breakdown, Sta. Maria has the most detected Delta cases with nine, followed by Mati City in Davao Oriental and Davao City with four cases each, then Digos City in Davao del Sur with three, and Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) in Davao del Norte and Magsaysay in Davao del Sur with one each.Out of the total, one had already tested negative, while the remaining 21 are currently subjected for reswabbing.All of the 22 are local cases and have been discharged.Davao Region, as of August 30, has a total of 48 confirmed Delta cases since the first batch of confirmed Delta cases were announced in late July this year. Among these, 20 are from Davao City, 10 are from Davao Oriental, nine from Davao Occidental, five from Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur each, and one from Davao de Oro.SunStar Davao reached out to Dr. Doreen Lolette Arciaga, incident commander for Covid-19 Response in Sta. Maria, Davao Occidental, for updates in the recent Delta cases in the municipality, but she has yet to respond.Arciaga said, however, in a previous interview that the area had attributed the surge of cases in the province due to mass gatherings, including sabong and gambling activities.The health official said most patients violated various health protocols based on their contact tracing history."There are unreported gatherings such as online sabong, talpakan... (cockfighting), and rampant din ang sugal na patago (discreet gambling activities are rampant)," she said during the DOH-Davao virtual presser on August 23.While she did not provide the figure, Arciaga said a majority of their current active cases are participants of the online sabong.Sta. Maria is currently under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until August 31, where mass gatherings are prohibited, total liquor ban and curfew, which starts from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m., are implemented, and only essential transactions are allowed.Arciaga said they are continuously implementing strict hard lockdown in areas wherein there is a clustering of cases. The municipal government had also reimplemented the food and emergency food pass to limit the mobility of their constituents.She added that they are also intensifying their case finding and identification of close contacts.Meanwhile, Davao del Sur information officer Sherwin Cesar told SunStar Davao in a phone interview that while they are still investigating the recently detected Delta cases in the province, they are already assuming that there is already a possible community transmission in their area considering that all of the five cases are tagged as local cases.Cesar said the continuous violation of health protocols among residents is one of the major factors to the continuous surge of cases in the province.He also said they noted complacency among security personnel in enforcing the protocols and ordinances on the ground.He added that some of their residents, including senior citizens, are still hesitant to get vaccinated.He said that as of August 30, the province has around 50,000 fully vaccinated individuals.The official said they noted the surge of cases in the province in early August this year.Due to the surge of cases in the area, the province has been classified by DOH as Critical Level 3 as hospitals, and temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMF) facilities are already overwhelmed.He added that two hospitals ceased operations due to undisclosed reasons, causing the shortage of bed capacities in the area.Cesar said some patients are forced to undergo home quarantine due to the decking of patients needing critical care treatment.“Naa nay ongoing lakang to put additional Covid wards diha sa compound sulod sa Davao del Sur Provincial hospitals, ug sa ubang hospitals (We already have plans for additional wards at the provincial hospital and other hospitals in the province),” he said, adding they are also adding beds in isolation facilities.To curb the continuous surge, the official said the province will be implementing granular lockdown in areas with clustering of cases.“Puno na gyud, and among resources depleted na (Our facilities are full and our resources have depleted),” he said.Cesar said they have yet to discuss the possible plan of establishing a government-owned oxygen plant in the province to brace for the possible surge of critical patients.