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Detected cases of Omicron subvariant BQ.1 rise to 16

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Detected cases of Omicron subvariant BQ.1 rise to 16
A woman stands on a rooftop during sunset in Manila on November 25, 2022.
AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has detected two additional cases of BQ.1 subvariant, latest data from the Department of Health showed.

This brought the number of detected BQ.1, a sublineage of Omicron BA.5, to 16.

The additional BQ.1 cases were found in Cagayan Valley and Central Visayas.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control classifies BQ.1 as a variant of interest.

BQ.1 is said to be more transmissible and highly immune evasive.

The Philippines also detected 353 additional Omicron BA.2.3.29 cases, one BA.4 cases, 21 BA.5 cases, 133 XBB cases, 45 XBC cases and 28 cases of other Omicron subvariants.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire stressed the need to increase the number of vaccinated people and the continued compliance with health protocols.

“We should know when we can wear a mask and when we can’t wear a mask, especially now that there will be many gatherings, reunions and parties,” she said in Filipino.

The Philippines has confirmed over 4 million COVID-19 cases, with more than 64,000 deaths, since the pandemic started in 2020.

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

OMICRON SUBVARIANTS

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