Philippines detects Omicron subvariant BA.4 in Filipino who returned from Middle East

Artist's rendition of coronavirus
geralt via Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health said Saturday that it has detected the Omicron subvariant BA.4 from a Filipino national who flew in from the Middle East on May 4.

It explained that the Filipino tested positive for the subvariant on May 8, but was asymptomatic. 

The Omicron BA.4 is considered as a variant of concern by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. This means it is likely to spread faster or cause worse illness, compared to a variant of interest. According to the DOH, BA.4 is likely to be transmitted faster "because of its ability to evade immune protection induced by prior infection and/or vaccination, particularly if this has waned over time."

In a statement on Viber, DOH said it has been coordinating with the concerned local government units since the confirmation of the case to quickly implement detection and isolation activities. 

"All LGUs are strongly advised to proactively seek the unvaccinated and those eligible for boosters, and to make it convenient to get a jab," the agency said.

It also urged the general public to get inoculated with the life-saving COVID-19 jab and to get boosted as soon as possible, while following health protocols. 


This is a developing story. Kindly check back for updates.

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