Omicron now predominant variant in NCR

January 18, 2022 Lee Ann P. Ducusin 231 views

AN official from the Department of Health (DOH) yesterday disclosed that Omicron is now the predominant COVID-19 variant in the National Capital Region (NCR), with at least 15 out of 17 areas in Metro Manila already having cases of the highly transmissible virus.

Dr. Alethea de Guzman, DOH Epidemiology Bureau director, said this was shown in the latest genome sequencing. However,she did not specify what these areas are.

“Our latest whole genome sequencing showed that the Omicron variant is now the predominant variant in the National Capital Region,” she said.

De Guzman added that the Omicron variant is also found in 13 other regions, adding that the increase in COVID-19 cases was driven by the highly transmissible variant.

However, she added that the increased mobility and reduced adherence to minimum public health standards, as well as the delays in detection and isolation of cases, also contributed to the spike of infections.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire over the weekend said community transmission of the Omicron variant is already present in the NCR.

Vergeire said the DOH was seeing a similar situation in other regions such as Region IV-A, Region II, CAR, Region VI, VII, and V.

For his part, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III earlier said the Omicron variant already composes 90% of the latest genome sequencing.

He noted that the Philippines is still under critical risk for COVID-19 even as the growth rate of infections has slowed down.