Philippines detects over 900 new cases of Omicron subvariants

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Philippines detects over 900 new cases of Omicron subvariants
People queue outside SM City Sta. Mesa in Quezon City to register for the upcoming December 2022 barangay elections despite the light rainfall on Thursday, July 21, 2022.
The STAR / Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has detected 923 additional cases of fast-spreading Omicron BA.5, BA.4, and BA.2.12.2 subvariants, the Department of Health said Thursday.

Beverly Ho, the agency’s deputy spokesperson, reported the detection of 890 new BA.5 cases in all regions of the country except Soccsksargen and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Nine returning overseas Filipinos also tested positive for the BA.5 variant.

Of the newly-reported cases, 823 individuals have been tagged as recovered, while 31 are still undergoing isolation.  

There are currently 1,997 detected BA.5 cases in the Philippines

BA.5, which has shown to be good at evading the immunity afforded by vaccination or prior infection, has been driving the renewed spike in infections in the country.

Health authorities also found 18 additional BA.4 cases, raising the total number of the Omicron subvariant to 71.

They also detected 15 more BA.2.12.1 cases, bringing the total to 154.

According to Ho, the Philippines remained at low risk for COVID-19 spread, while the capital region was deemed at moderate risk.

The Philippines reported 19,536 additional COVID-19 cases, or an average of 2,791 infections a day, from July 18 to 24.

The DOH earlier said the number of detected cases may reach around 19,306 a day by end-August. Improved vaccination rates and compliance with minimum public health protocols may slow the cases increase, the agency also said.



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