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First Omicron subvariant BA.2.12 case had 44 close contacts, says DOH

The number of close contacts of the Finnish female who was the first detected Omicron BA.2.12 carrier in the country has increased to 44, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Thursday.

In a message to reporters, Vergeire said based on their current contact tracing, nine of which were in Quezon City, five in Benguet, and 30 were from the plane she rode in going to Manila.

The Department of Health (DOH) announced on Wednesday that the Philippines has detected its first case of Omicron BA.2.12 in Baguio City in a 52-year-old Finnish female who arrived from Finland on April 2.

The unnamed foreigner was not required to undergo routine isolation at a quarantine facility since she was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and arrived asymptomatic, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

The DOH said the Finnish natioanl has finished her seven-day isolation and has recovered and been discharged. It added that the patient returned to her home country on April 21.

Vergeire earlier pointed out that the BA.2.12 sublineage was “2.5 times more infective but not more severe” than the original Omicron variant.

The DOH earlier said at present, BA.2.12 is neither a variant of interest nor a variant of concern.

"The public can avoid all variants, whether new or currently circulating, by continuing to wear the best-fitting mask, isolate when sick, double-up protection through vaccination and boosters, and ensure good airflow," it said. —Giselle Ongbay/KBK, GMA News