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MANILA, Dec 10 (Mabuhay) —

The Department of Health (DOH) reported on Thursday that no case of Omicron COVID-19 variant was detected from the latest whole genome sequencing conducted.

The DOH said the sequencing of 48 samples from 12 returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and 36 local cases from areas with high-risk average daily attack rates and case clusters was conducted at the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC) and the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) on Wednesday.

“Of the 48 samples sequenced, 38 (79.17%) Delta (B.1.617.2) variant cases; the rest had non-VOC (variant of concern) lineages or had no lineages detected,” the health department said in a statement.

Of the 38 Delta variant cases, 31 were local cases and seven were ROFs. Meanwhile, two ROFs had travel histories from Turkey and one ROF each from Jordan, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, and Peru.

It revealed that of the 31 local cases, six cases had indicated addresses in Cagayan Valley Region, while five cases were from the Cordillera Administrative Region, three cases each from Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Soccskargen, and the National Capital Region (NCR), two cases each from Central Luzon and Calabarzon, and one case from Davao Region.

“Based on the case line list, one local case is still active, 27 local and all seven ROF cases have been tagged as recovered, and three local cases are currently being verified as to their outcomes. All other details are being validated by the regional and local health offices,” the department added.

The additional 38 new Delta variant cases reported brings the total tally to 7,886.

The DOH said additional ROF and local cases from areas with increases or clustering will be prioritized for sequencing once these samples have been received by UP-PGC.

It added that it is currently coordinating with the COVID-19 testing laboratories to expedite transport of the samples.

Meanwhile, the DOH earlier said that the results of the genome sequencing for the traveler from South Africa and 11 others who tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in the Philippines have yet to be released.

The 12 samples from ROFs who came from South Africa, the Netherlands, Turkey, Jordan, Peru, Angola, the United States, and China are currently undergoing genome sequencing at the UP-PGC.

The health department also reminded the public to follow minimum public health standards in order to prevent spread of COVID-19.

It also urged local government units to continuously conduct active case finding and immediately probe clustering of cases to curb spread of the viral disease in the communities. (MNS)

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