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Philippines detects 492 more Omicron variant cases

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Philippines detects 492 more Omicron variant cases
Health workers conduct house-to-house antigen testing for residents of West Rembo in Makati City on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health reported Wednesday the detection of 492 additional cases of the hyper-transmissible Omicron variant, which is driving the fresh surge in COVID-19 infections in the country. 

Out of the 714 samples sequenced by the Philippine Genome Center last week, 68.9% were found to have the Omicron variant.

According to the DOH, 332 of the newly-detected cases were locals and 160 were returning overseas Filipinos.

Sixty-eight percent or 227 of the local cases were from Metro Manila—the epicenter of the latest surge in infections. 

Meanwhile, 76 cases were from Calabarzon, 11 from Central Luzon, five from Central Visayas, two cases each from Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, Davao region, Soccsksargen and the Cordillera Administrative Region, and one case each from Ilocos region, Mimaropa and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Three cases are still active, two have died, and 467 cases have been tagged as recovered. The agency is still verifying the outcomes of 20 other cases.

The development brought the total known Omicron cases in the country to 535.

DOH Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Tuesday that Omicron is the “predominant [variant] in this time period,” especially in Metro Manila. 

More Delta, Alpha cases

Health authorities also detected 115 additional Delta variant cases, of which 88 were locals and 27 were returning overseas Filipinos. This brought the number of confirmed Delta cases to 8,612.

Of the additional Delta cases, two are still active, two have died, and 107 have recovered from COVID-19.

One case of the Alpha variant was also found among the sequenced samples. A total of 3,170 Alpha cases have been detected in the country.

Daily cases in the Philippines have reached unprecedented highs in January as an Omicron-driven surge ravages Metro Manila and surrounding provinces. There are currently 284,458 active cases.

COVID-19

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

OMICRON VARIANT

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