December 10, 2022

The city government said it is prepared for another surge of Covid-19 cases, following the country’s first reported case of the Omicron variant sub-lineage BA212 in the city.

Aileen Refuerzo, Public Information Office chief, said the city government still enforces its “prevent, detect, isolate, treat, reintegrate” strategies even if some response operations had been scaled down in the past weeks after cases tapered off starting February.

“All systems are in place and we have our contingency plan as we did for the Delta and Omicron waves,” Refuerzo said.

She also quoted Mayor Benjamin Magalong as saying during a meeting of the city executives: “We are hopeful that the expected surge will not happen but just in case, we are confident that we can handle it as efficiently as we did during the delta and omicron variants.”

The Department of Health confirmed on April 27 the first case of Omicron variant sub-lineage BA212 in the country that was detected in Baguio City.

Omicron BA212 is the sub-variant triggering case surges in the U.S. and South Korea.

Refuerzo said information reaching the city government showed the patient was a 52-year-old female from Finland with known comorbidity.

The information showed the patient arrived in the country on April 2, went to Baguio on April 7, started exhibiting symptoms on April 10, and got her Covid-19 positive test result on April 11.

On April 12, the patient was admitted to a hospital with an initial diagnosis of Hypertension Stage II Covid-19 infection and was discharged on April 18. On April 20, the patient traveled back to Finland.

Her infection was confirmed as Omicron variant sub-lineage BA212 in the April 23 report of the Philippine Genome Center.

All her close contacts had been identified, quarantined, and tested, Refuerzo said.

Although BA212 is not considered a major threat, residents were urged to continue exercising caution by observing public health standards and getting vaccinated and boosted. – PNA