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DOH detects more Omicron subvariant cases in latest genome sequencing

The Department of Health on Tuesday reported that more Omicron COVID-19 subvariant cases were detected in the latest whole genome sequencing.

According to the report, 43 BA.5 cases, 20 BA.2.12.1 cases, and seven BA.4 cases were detected from 211 samples sequenced from June 29 to July 4, 2022.

The Health department said in total, there were 190 cases testing positive for the Omicron and all of its sublineages with 90.5%, while 21 samples have no lineage assigned.

Meanwhile, of the 190 Omicron cases detected in the latest sequencing, 185 are local cases and five are Returning Overseas Filipino (ROF) cases.

At least 42 of the BA.5 cases, 16 of the BA.2.12.1 cases, and all seven BA.4 cases are local, while the remaining 4 BA.2.12.1 and one BA.5 case are ROFs.

The DOH said this brings the total number of confirmed Omicron cases to 7,919.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the total hospital bed utilization in the country remains at “low risk.”

"Total hospital bed utilization nationwide still remains at low risk, and there were no deaths among the cases testing positive for the Omicron sub-variants,” she said.

"Nevertheless, maintaining minimum public health standards and being up-to-date on vaccination should still be practiced by every Filipino to reduce transmission," she added.

In December 2021, the the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the Omicron variant, though causing mild symptoms, may still lead to death among immunocompromised individuals and the elderly.

They said that such infections may still overwhelm hospitals in the country. — BM, GMA News