DoH detects new Covid Omicron subvariant cases

The Philippines has detected its first new cases of XBB and XBC Omicron subvariants, the Department of Health said Tuesday.

In a media briefing, Health Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said that based on the latest whole genomic sequencing run of the agency, a total of 81 XBB subvariant cases have been detected in two regions in the country.

Vergeire also said that there were 193 XBC subvariant cases found in 11 out of 17 regions in the country.

“Of the 81 XBB cases, 70 are tagged as recovered, eight are still undergoing isolation, and the remaining three cases are still being verified,” she said.

Meanwhile, 106 out of the 193 XBC subvariants are tagged as recovered, three are undergoing isolation, six are reported as deaths, and six are still being verified.

Citing the Singaporean Ministry of Health, Vergeire said there is not enough evidence yet to conclude that the XBB subvariant could cause more severe symptoms of Covid-19.

The XBB subvariant, which is a recombinant of BJ.1 (BA.2.10.1 sublineage) and BM.1.1.1 (BA.2.75 sublineage) was believed to be the primary cause of the increase in the local Covid-19 cases in Singapore, according to the Health official.

Australia, Bangladesh, Denmark, India, Japan, and the United States have also reported similar cases of the variant since August.

Vergeiere assured the public that the government is implementing measures to prevent the spread of the Omicron subvariants.

“The DoH along with other government agencies and local governments are continuously strengthening the four-door strategy against Covid-19, particularly the third door about immediate detection and isolation of cases,” she said.

She also said that the government is ensuring that the country’s healthcare system has enough capacity to minimize the impact of the cases on the admission and healthcare admission rates.

On Monday, the country reported a total of 15,314 new Covid-19 cases from 10 to 16 October.

Based on the department’s latest case bulletin, the fresh infections were 7 percent higher compared to the previous week.

Average daily infections are standing at 2,188 from the previous week’s average of 2,048.

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