MANILA — The Philippines reported 1,353 new COVID-19 infections on Friday — the same day it announced the detection of cases of omicron subvariant BQ.1, which is said to be more adept at evading immunity.
The nation's active COVID-19 cases now stand at 17,945 with the addition of Friday's cases, while the overall coronavirus caseload jumped to 4,030,572.
The Department of Health data also logged 24 new deaths, pushing the total COVID death toll to 64,548.
COVID-19 recoveries now reached 3,948,079 after the DOH registered 795 new patients who beat the virus.
The detection of 14 cases of omicron subvariant BQ.1 poses a new threat to the country's coronavirus situation, especially with the easing up of booster uptake and relaxed mask mandates amid the holiday season.
Recent data showed more than 20 million Filipinos have so far received their first COVID-19 boosters. That's out of 73.6 million who have been fully vaccinated.
The more transmissible BQ.1 is said to be driving up COVID-19 infections in the US, UK, and parts of Europe.
Meanwhile, Guido David of pandemic monitor OCTA Research Group said that Metro Manila's COVID-19 positivity rate increased in the past week.
He warned that the capital region might experience a new wave of infections should this trend continue.