Philippines detects 29 more cases of COVID-19 omicron variant

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 06 2022 01:52 PM | Updated as of Jan 06 2022 03:13 PM

Passengers check in for a flight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City on January 3, 2022 amid the imposition of Alert Level 3 in Metro Manila. The capital region was placed under the said alert status due to the jump in COVID-19 cases since the tail end of December. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Passengers check in for a flight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City on January 3, 2022 amid the imposition of Alert Level 3 in Metro Manila. The capital region was placed under the said alert status due to the jump in COVID-19 cases since the tail end of December. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - Twenty-nine more cases of the COVID-19 omicron variant were detected in the Philippines, raising the total to 43, the Department of Health said Thursday.

The additional cases are composed of 10 returning Filipinos and 19 local cases with addresses in Metro Manila, the health agency said in a statement.

Of the 19 local cases, 14 remain active, 3 have recovered, while there are 2 cases whose status are still being verified, according to the DOH.

The agency said it was still verifying the test results and health status of all co-passengers of the returning Filipinos to determine if there were other confirmed cases or those who became symptomatic after arrival.

The new variant cases were detected from 48 samples sequenced last Jan. 2, Sunday.

The genome sequencing also found 18 more delta variant cases, of which 10 were local cases and 8 were returning Filipinos, the DOH said. The new figure brings the total number of detected delta variant cases in the country to 8,497.

The DOH urged the public, particularly the elderly, persons with comorbidities, and children to get vaccinated and get their additional doses immediately.

"Vaccines are still our best defense and proven to be safe, effective, and free. Let’s not be agents of transmission and prevent further spread of the virus as more transmission means more mutations," it said.

"At the earliest signs of symptoms, remember to isolate immediately and do the right test at the right time. Finally, let us maximize our telemedicine services and keep our hospitals from filling-up."

The omicron variant seems to inflict milder symptoms on patients but is more transmissible than the delta variant, according to Dr. Edsel Salvana, a member of the DOH technical advisory group.

The Philippines has so far fully vaccinated 50.6 million individuals, while 57.25 million others have received an initial dose and 2.2 million additional shots have been administered as of Tuesday, according to DOH data.

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