43 Omicron variant cases detected

The Philippines has detected a total of 43 Omicron variant cases of the coronavirus, mostly from international travelers.

Of the total cases, 35 are asymptomatic, seven are symptomatic and the remaining one unknown.

“These are the 21 local cases and then 22 came from international travelers and these were all collected between December 2 to 30, 2021,” said Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Executive Director, Dr. Cynthia Saloma, during a televised public briefing Tuesday.

Citing the results of genomic sequencing last December 2021, Saloma noted that the highly transmissible Delta variant remains dominant among cases nationwide.

“When we did purposive sampling of ROFs [returning overseas Filipinos] at saka mga local samples, marami tayong nakitang (of ROFs and local samples, we saw a lot of) Omicron. Itong January, we have to confirm that data with whole sequencing results,” she said.

She added that the “almost exponential” increase of cases daily, on the other hand, could be an indication of Omicron variant’s dominance in the country.

“We are just perplexed and shocked with the increasing number of cases and this is very characteristic of Omicron as experienced by other countries,” she said.

The PGC is set to complete more genome sequencing within the week and provide sequencing data toward the end of the week.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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