MANILA, June 8 (Mabuhay) –The Philippines has detected 10 more cases of the more transmissible Omicron subvariants BA.5 and BA.2.12.1, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the latest sequencing run of 190 samples yielded 114 new Omicron cases, of which three are BA.5 cases and seven are BA.2.12.1 cases.
Of the three BA.5 cases, two are from Calabarzon while one is still being verified.
Vergeire said the individual whose location is still being verified is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 while one of the cases in Calabarzon is unvaccinated.
“Sa kasalukuyan unkown pa ang exposure ng mga individuals dahil we are still undergoing verification regarding their travel history,” Vergeire said at a media briefing.
Authorities are still looking into their symptoms and close contacts.
However, Vergeire said the cases are now tagged as recovered. She said two of the samples were collected on May 23 while one was collected on May 12.
This brings the total number of BA.5 cases in the country to five after the detection of the first two BA.5 cases in Central Luzon.
Meanwhile, of the seven cases of the BA.2.12.1 subvariant, three were from the National Capital Region, one from the Ilocos Region, one from Cagayan Valley, one from Calabarzon, and one from the Bicol Region.
Vergeire said three are fully vaccinated, three are unvaccinated, and one is still being verified.
Vergeire said that of the Omicron cases, 103 are local cases, three are returning overseas Filipino, while 8 are still being determined.
Meanwhile, the agency also reported 14 new Delta variant cases, one case with other lineage assigned, while 61 cases had no lineage assigned.
She said 111 of the total samples were retrospective, meaning they were collected from August 2021 to January to April 2022 while 79 were collected in May.
Of the retrospective samples, 59 are Omicron cases while 13 are Delta cases.
Of the usual run, 55 are Omicron cases while one is a Delta variant.
“Muli po, nais linawin ng DOH na hindi po directly related ang mag bahagyang pagtaas ng kaso sa pagpasok ng mga bagong variants na ito,” Vergeire said.
Vergeire previously said the possibility of local transmission of the Omicron BA.5 subvariant was very high. However, she said it is unlikely for the variant to have mutated in the country.
She advised the public to follow the minimum public health standards and to get vaccinated and boosted against the illness. (MNS)