Philippines reports 814 new cases of omicron subvariants

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 20 2022 01:23 PM

 Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell infected with the Omicron strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (purple), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell infected with the Omicron strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (purple), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID

MANILA — The Philippines has detected 814 additional cases of highly contagious offshoots of the omicron COVID-19 variant, the Department of Health said Tuesday.

The country found 688 new cases of the omicron BA.5, 16 more cases of the BA.4 and 110 tagged as "other sublineages," latest figures from DOH show.

Of the new BA.5 cases, many were found in Metro Manila (126), Western Visayas (104), and Cagayan Valley (75).

Most of the new BA.4 cases, meanwhile, were reported in Soccsksargen (12).

These are results of the latest sequencing run conducted from Sept. 16 to 19, the agency said.

While previous "variants of concern" like Alpha and Delta eventually petered out, omicron and its sublineages have dominated throughout 2022.

The BA.4 and BA.5 types have in particular helped to drive a wave of new cases of the disease in Europe and the United States in recent months.

All omicron variants tend to have a milder disease course as they settle less in the lungs and more in the upper nasal passages, causing symptoms like fever, tiredness, and loss of smell.

In the past week, the Philippines logged 14,707 new COVID-19 cases, according to the DOH.

From Sept. 12 to 18, the country recorded an average of 2,101 daily infections, which is 4 percent lower compared to the previous week.

Of the 3,923,727 total coronavirus infections recorded in the Philippines as of Monday, 27,686 are active cases, data from the DOH showed.

The DOH also verified 248 more COVID-related fatalities. The death toll stood at 62,587 as of Monday.

Almost 72.9 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against the respiratory disease. 

Of the figure, almost 18.9 million have received their first booster dose while almost 2.7 million have gotten their second booster shots.

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— With a report from Agence France-Presse