No Omicron case yet in PH: DOH

A health official on Friday said there are still no Omicron variant cases in the country.

During an online media forum, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire reported the government is performing intensive backtracing and re-testing of the individuals who arrived in the country from three African countries.

“We are doing our biosurveillance regularly and we’re also doing backtracing, nagre-retrospective sampling din tayo (we’re also doing retrospective sampling,” she said.

Screengrab from DOH Zoom Meeting

For the period of Nov. 15 to 29, a total of 254 travelers came from South Africa.

Of the 254 individuals, only one tested positive for Covid-19 while 83 tested negative for the disease.

Some 134 individuals still have pending test results while 35 persons did not require a swab test upon arrival.

Moreover, 183 individuals are still being contacted by the Bureau of Quarantine and the Department of the Interior and Local Government while the remaining 71 have been contacted and verified.

Three of the 71 contacted and verified individuals are foreigners from South Africa.

“The South African nationals in Region 6, all are fully vaccinated and currently asymptomatic. They are currently undergoing home quarantine and underwent re-swabbing with pending results,” Vergeire said.

Around 67 of the contacted and verified individuals are still due for a re-test.

Vergeire added there were other arrivals from Burkina Faso and Egypt and samples are now being processed for sequencing at the Philippine Genome Center.

“Each of these countries has a traveler that tested positive for Covid-19… lahat ng nag-positive na ‘yan, as long as the CT [cycle threshold] values are appropriate, ipapadala po iyan sa (all those who tested positive for Covid-19, as long as the CT values are appropriate, we will send them to the) Philippine Genome Center for genome sequencing,” she said.

The government has strengthened its arrival protocols for countries not under the red list by extending the facility-based quarantine to five days for the vaccinated and seven days for the unvaccinated.

Moreover, they are required to complete the mandatory 14-day home quarantine.

To date, a total of 416 cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in 35 countries.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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