PGC: Omicron is most dominant COVID-19 variant in Philippines now

By RICHA NORIEGA, GMA News

Published April 29, 2022 4:09pm

The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) reported on Friday that the most dominant COVID-19 variant in the country is already the Omicron.

“Masyadong mababa ang ating mga kaso kaya konti rin po ang mga samples na sinu-submit sa amin sa PGC. Starting po ng end ng December 2021 up to the present the most dominant variant in the Philippines is not Delta, it is already Omicron,” PGC executive director Dr. Cynthia Saloma said at the Laging Handa briefing.

(Our cases are very low so very few samples are submitted to us at the PGC. From the end of  December 2021 up to the present, the most dominant variant in the Philippines is not Delta, it is already Omicron.)

Saloma said among the Omicron variants, the most number of cases detected was the BA.2.3 Omicron sublineage based on the latest sequencing results.

“Among the Omicron variants ang pinakamarami po talaga sa ating bansa ay itong BA.2.3. Ito pong BA.2.3 po sa ating latest sequencing results for the months of March at saka April siya po ‘yung mga 95% of our sequenced cases are in the BA.2.3 sublineage po,” she said.

(Among the Omicron variants, the most number of cases in our country is BA.2.3. Based on the latest sequencing results for the months of March and April, at least 95% of our sequenced cases are in the BA.2.3 sublineage.)

According to reports, Omicron BA.2.3 strain has been found circulating in other countries including Denmark, Japan, and China.

Meanwhile, Saloma said there were only few Delta cases detected in the country between March and April.

“From time to time nakikita pa rin po namin may mga pa-ilan ilang mga (we have seen few) Delta sequences sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng Pilipinas (in the different parts of the Philippines). But these are very, very minor if I remember correctly between March and April we only detected about four cases in the Southern Philippines,” she added.

The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday announced that health authorities have detected the first case of Omicron BA.2.12 in Baguio City.

The new sublineage BA.2.12 was detected in a 52-year-old Finnish female who arrived from Finland last April 2.

Based on their current contact tracing, the patient had 44 close contacts including in Quezon City, five in Benguet, and 30 from the plane she rode going to Manila.

Health experts are still studying these Omicron sublineages in terms of transmissibility and if they can cause more severe disease, according to the DOH.

Initial data showed their mutations are associated with higher transmissibility. However, there is currently no evidence that these sublineages cause more severe disease, it added.—AOL, GMA News

SOURCE: https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/topstories/nation/830152/pgc-omicron-is-most-dominant-covid-19-variant-in-philippines-now/story/?just_in

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