MANILA — The Philippines has detected 1,400 additional cases of highly contagious offshoots of the omicron COVID-19 variant, the Department of Health said Tuesday.
The country found 1,200 new cases of the omicron BA.5, 33 more cases of the BA.4, 3 cases of BA.2.75, 2 cases of BA.2.12.1 and 162 tagged as "other sublineages," latest figures from DOH showed.
Cagayan Valley led with new BA.5 infections at 208 cases, followed by Soccsksargen with 178 cases, and Cordillera Administrative Region with 166.
Of the new BA.4 cases, 31 were found in Soccsksargen and 2 in Northern Mindanao.
For BA.2.75, Central Visayas reported 2 new cases and 1 in CAR, while Cagayan Valley and CAR logged 1 each case of BA.2.12.1.
Meanwhile, 5 new delta cases were found in Soccsksargen, 3 in Caraga and 1 in CAR, the DOH said.
These are results of the latest sequencing run conducted from Sept. 24 to 26, 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.
From Sept. 19 to 25, the Philippines recorded 17,891 new COVID-19 cases, which is 22 percent higher compared to the previous week.
In the past week, the DOH also verified 242 more COVID-related fatalities.
As of Sept. 26, some 73 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against the respiratory disease.
Of the figure, around 19.2 million have received their first booster dose, while almost 2.8 million have gotten their second booster shots.
— With reports from Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News; Agence France-Presse