Omicron cases in PH now at 535

January 19, 2022 Lee Ann P. Ducusin 96 views

THE Department of Health yesterday reported that there are now a total of 535 cases of the highly transmissible Omicron COVID-19 variant in the country, with the detection of 492 more cases in the last whole genome sequencing conducted.

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said that out of the 714 samples sequenced by the Philippine Genome Center and University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health last Jan. 12-14, 492 were Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant cases (68.9%), 115 were Delta (B.1.617.2) variant cases (16.1%), and one was Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant case (0.1%).

Duque said with the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant and the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, the DOH urges the public to follow protective health protocols and adhere to minimum public health standards.

“New protocols based on science and data such as shortened intervals for booster shots, childhood vaccination, shortened quarantine/isolation periods for fully vaccinated HCWs without symptoms, and targeted testing among others were put in place to mitigate the risks of the Omicron variant. The public is strongly encouraged to comply to ensure the safety and protection of the entire community,” he said.

Duque called on all eligible individuals, especially senior citizens, those with comorbidities, and children to complete their primary series of vaccines and get boosted as these are safe, effective, and free.

“Getting vaccinated is still our best line of defense when it comes to fighting and preventing severe and critical disease. Regardless of the variant, we must always keep our guards up against the enemy that is COVID-19,” he pointed out.

The 492 Omicron variant cases are composed of 332 local cases and 160 returning overseas Filipinos.