The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on Wednesday the country’s first cases of COVID-19 Omicron variant, which were found in two international travelers.
The first patient is a returning Filipino from Japan who arrived on December 1, while the second patient is a Nigerian national from Nigeria who arrived on November 30.
The two travelers are currently isolated in a facility under the Bureau of Quarantine.
According to the DOH, the Philippine Genome Center identified these two imported cases of Omicron from 48 samples sequenced on December 14.
The health department is investigating possible close contacts among co-passengers during the flights of these COVID-19 cases.
Furthermore, the DOH urged the public to continue following standard health practices and to be mindful of health precautions as the holiday season approaches.
The B.1.1.529 variant, or Omicron, which was first discovered in South Africa, has been found to be more infectious among other variants and more transmissible than the Delta variant.
As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified this as a “variant of concern”.
Thumbnail photo by Viktor Forgacs (@sonance) from Unsplash