Philippines detects over 1,000 new BA.5, BA.4 cases

Philippines detects over 1,000 new BA.5, BA.4 cases
People walk past a sidewalk vendor in Quiapo in Manila on August 5, 2022.
AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health reported Tuesday the detection of more than 1,000 additional cases of Omicron subvariants in the Philippines.

There were 1,011 new cases of the Omicron subvariant BA.5, according to the DOH. All regions, except the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, have logged at least one individual positive for the new subvariant.

Of the additional cases, 907 people have recovered from COVID-19, two have died, and 53 are still undergoing isolation. Authorities are still verifying the outcomes of the remaining BA.5 cases.

There are currently 5,214 detected BA.5 cases in the country. 

The Philippine Genome Center earlier said the current spike in cases is driven by the BA.5 subvariant.

Meanwhile, 19 more individuals from Soccsksargen, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, and the Cordillera Administrative Region tested positive for the BA.4 subvariant. The total number of BA.4 cases in the Philippines rose to 168. 

Fifteen of those have recovered, one has died, and three are still undergoing isolation.

The health department also reported that cases in all island groups “are on a plateau.”

It added that the number of severe and critical cases remained below 1,000 as the observed slow upward trend continued.

The DOH recorded 28,008 additional cases—or 4,001 infections per day—from August 8 to 14. The figure was 3% higher than infections logged from a week before.

Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire, however, warned against complacency.

“'Wag muna tayong maging complacent. Tignan natin ang trends hanggang matapos ang linggong ito para makasiguro na talagang pababa na ang kaso. Kahit bumaba ang kaso ay kailangan patuloy tayong nag-cocomply sa ating safety protocols,” Vergeire said in a briefing.

(Let's not be complacent. Let's look at the trends until the end of this week to make sure that the number of cases is really going down. Even if the number of cases decreases, we must continue to comply with our safety protocols.) — Gaea Katreena Cabico




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