By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire. (PNA file photo)

MANILA– The Department of Health (DOH) had detected two BN.1 cases in the Philippines, both of whom have already recovered.

The first case whose sample was collected in October 2022 was a returning overseas Filipino from Kuwait.

The second, meanwhile, was a local case whose specimen was collected in November 2022.

“Both cases have now been tagged as recovered,” the DOH said in a statement.

BN.1 is a sublineage of BA.2.75 considered as a “variant under monitoring” due to its increased prevalence globally.

The agency said BN.1 was flagged due to its mutations that may lead to “enhanced immune evasion”.

Available evidence, however, does not suggest any differences in disease severity or clinical manifestations compared to the original Omicron variant.

“Currently, the subvariant is still reported under BA.2.75 by the World Health Organization and will remain classified under Omicron until sufficient evidence arises showing that the virus characteristics are significantly different from Omicron,” said the DOH. (PNA)