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Philippines detects 6 new BA.5, 10 new BA.2.12.1 Omicron subvariant cases

The Philippines has detected 16 new cases of the more transmissible Omicron subvariants BA.5 and BA.2.12.1, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the latest sequencing run yielded six new cases of the BA.5 and 10 new cases of the BA.2.12.1. 

Two of the BA.5 cases came from the National Capital Region (NCR), one from the Cagayan Valley, one from Western Visayas, one from Northern Mindanao, and one whose address is still being validated.

Vergeire said four are fully vaccinated while the vaccination status of the two other cases is being verified.

She said two individuals experienced mild symptoms.

At present, five have been tagged as recovered while one is still undergoing home isolation. 

Of the new BA.2.12.1 cases, four were from NCR, two were from Calabarzon, and one each from Cagayan Valley, the Bicol Region, and Western Visayas, and one returning overseas Filipino.

Three are fully vaccinated, while the status of other cases is still being verified.

Two experienced mild symptoms, while three were asymptomatic.

One individual is tagged as active while eight others have recovered. The DOH is still verifying the status of one case. 

The agency is still checking the cases' travel histories, so the extent of their exposure is unknown. Their close contacts are also being determined.

“Muli po, nais linawin ng Department of Health na hindi po directly related ang mga bahagyang pagtaas ng kaso sa pagpasok nitong bagong variant,” Vergeire said.

(Again, the Department of Health wants to clarify that the slight increase in cases is not directly related to the entry of the new variants.)

“Upang hindi na po tumuloy ang pagtaas at upang manatili tayo sa low risk, patuloy po tayong sumunod sa minimum public health standards at magpabakuna na po tayo sa lalong madaling panahon,” she added.

(We should continue complying with minimum public health standards and get vaccinated as soon as possible so that our cases do not continue to increase and we will remain at low risk.) —KG/VBL, GMA News