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Philippines first 2 Omicron deaths were unvaccinated seniors with comorbidities

The first two deaths among confirmed Omicron cases in the country involved unvaccinated senior citizens with pre-existing medical conditions, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.

According to the DOH, the two fatalities were both detected during the latest whole-genome sequencing, which yielded 492 new Omicron cases.

“While Omicron mostly presents with asymptomatic and mild disease, our data shows that those most at risk for fatalities are still the elderly and those with comorbidities and unvaccinated,” the DOH said.

The DOH said these were the first reported deaths among cases of Omicron.

The two reported deaths are from the National Capital Region and Central Luzon. 

At present, the country has recorded 535 cases of the variant.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has previously warned that the mild symptoms caused by the variant may still lead to death among immunocompromised individuals and the elderly.

Senior citizens are among the priority groups in the country, as they are considered most vulnerable to severe COVID-19 infection, along with healthcare workers and individuals with comorbidities.

Data from the National COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard showed that over 5 million seniors have received at least one dose while 6 million have been fully vaccinated against the illness. 

Around 1.2 million have received a booster shot or additional dose. — with a report from Richa Noriega/NB/VBL, GMA News