Philippines detects Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1 in Metro Manila, Puerto Princesa

Philippines detects Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1 in Metro Manila, Puerto Princesa
Voters queuing at a poll precinct at Pinyahan Elementary School amid sweltering heat and malfunctioning of vote counting machines at Diliman, Quezon City on election day, May 9, 2022.
Philstar.com / Jazmin Tabuena

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health said Friday it has detected 14 cases of the BA.2.12.1 Omicron subvariant in Metro Manila and Palawan.

The country’s first two BA.2.12.1 cases were from the capital region, while 12 cases were detected in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing. All of them completed vaccination against COVID-19.

The agency noted that preliminary studies show that the BA.2.12.1 sub-lineage is most likely to exhibit immune evasion. There is no evidence suggesting that BA.2.12.1 causes more severe disease.

The cases from Metro Manila received booster shots and experienced mild symptoms. They are now tagged as asymptomatic and recovered after completing home isolation.

Thirty-nine of their close contacts are not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

Vergeire also reported that 11 foreign tourists and one local tested positive for the Omicron subvariant in Puerto Princesa City. Twenty-eight of their close contacts all tested negative.

The Philippines has reported over 3.68 million COVID-19 cases, with 60,452 deaths since the start of the pandemic. The DOH recorded only 971 new cases from May 6 to 12.

Last month, the department reported the detection of BA.2.12, another Omicron subvariant. The case was a Finnish woman who visited Quezon City and Baguio City. She has since recovered and returned to Finland. — Gaea Katreena Cabico




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