MANILA — The Philippines has detected cases of omicron subvariant XBB.1.9.1, which is spreading across the globe, according to the Department of Health.
Based on the agency's latest COVID-19 biosurveillance report issued Thursday, the country has 54 cases of XBB.1.9.1 — an XBB sublineage that was recently added to the list of variants under monitoring by the World Health Organization on March 30.
Some 39 cases were detected in the samples sequenced by the University of the Philippines - Philippine Genome Center on April 3 to 11.
The DOH has yet to provide information on the other 15 cases.
According to the agency, the variant was initially flagged due to its increasing global prevalence and higher growth advantage.
"The variant has been detected in 63 countries or jurisdictions across 6 continents, according to sequence submissions in GISAID," the DOH report read.
"However, currently available evidence for XBB.1.9.1 does not suggest any differences in disease severity and/or clinical manifestations compared to the original Omicron variant."
The same report showed that the country also detected 150 new cases of omicron COVID-19 subvariants.
Of the samples sequenced by health authorities this month, 75 were classified as XBB, including 30 XBB.1.5 cases; 70 as BA.2.3.20; 2 cases as XBC, 1 case as CH.1.1, 1 case as BQ.1, and 1 case as BA.2.
Of the recently detected XBB cases, 8 were returning overseas Filipinos while 67 were local cases from regions 1, 3, 4A, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, CAR, and NCR, the DOH report showed.
Meanwhile, among the BA.2.3.20 cases detected, 1 was classified as ROF and the remaining cases were local cases from Regions 2, 3, 4A, 7, and 11.
Finally, the recently reported BQ.1 and XBC cases were from Region 11 while the CH.1.1 case was from Region 4B, the DOH added.