Philippines detects more Omicron BA.5, BA.2.12.1 cases

A cyclist passes by a sweeper during an event celebrating World Bicycle Day, in Quezon City, suburban Manila on June 3, 2022.
AFP/Jam Sta Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health on Tuesday reported additional cases of the more transmissible BA.5 and BA.2.12.1 Omicron sub-variants.

Authorities detected three new cases of the BA.5 sub-variant and seven more cases of the BA.2.12.1 sub-variant, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing.

Here are the details about the additional BA.5 cases:

  • The subvariant was detected in two individuals from Calabarzon and an individual whose address is being verified
  • The individual whose location is being verified is fully-vaccinated. One of the individuals from Calabarzon is unvaccinated, while the vaccination status of the other is being validated.
  • DOH said the exposure of individuals is still unknown and their travel histories are being verified.
  • The three BA.5 cases have been tagged as recovered.

So far, local authorities have detected five BA.5 cases.

Vergeire said there is a “very high” chance that the local transmission of the new Omicron sub-variant is happening. According to the World Health Organization, local transmission “indicates locations where the source of infection is within the reporting location.”

Additional BA.2.12.1 cases were detected in Metro Manila, Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, and Bicol region.

“The DOH would like to clarify that the slight increase in cases is not directly related to the entry of these variants,” Vergeire said.

Results of the latest genome sequencing of 190 samples showed that 60% were positive for the Omicron variant.




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