DOH: More local, ROF Omicron cases detected

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday it has detected more Omicron variant infections and reported 29 new cases out of 48 samples from 29 local and 19 returning overseas Filipinos sequenced last January 2.

The University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC) and the UP National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH), in a joint statement, said the DOH also reported 18 cases positive for the Delta variant while one had no lineage assigned.

“The 29 Omicron variant cases are composed of 10 ROFs and 19 local cases with indicated addresses in the National Capital Region (NCR), bringing the total number of confirmed Omicron variant cases to 43,” the DOH said.

Of the 19 local cases, 14 are still active while three have been tagged as recovered. There are two cases whose outcomes are still being verified. The DOH said it is verifying the test results and health status of all passengers of these flights to determine if there are other confirmed cases or passengers who became symptomatic after arrival.

Of the additional 18 Delta variant cases, eight were ROFs. The ten local cases also had NCR as their indicated address. This update brings the total number of confirmed Delta variant cases to 8,497.

The DOH encouraged eligible individuals, especially senior citizens, individuals with comorbidities, and children to get vaccinated and boosted 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.