May 20, 2024

A 52-year-old female from Finland who arrived in the Philippines on April 2, is the first Omicron BA 2.12 case in the country.

The Department of Health reported the woman facilitated seminars in universities in Quezon City and Baguio.

The woman is fully vaccinated and did not exhibit any signs and symptoms of Covid-19 infection upon her arrival in the country. She was in Baguio on April 7 and began experiencing mild respiratory symptoms on April 10.

She got her positive result on April 11; was admitted in a hospital due to hypertension and Covid-19 on April 12; was discharged from on April 18, and has returned to Finland on April 21. 

Her swab sample, which was one of the several submitted to the Philippine Genome Center for sequencing, was released April 23.

The woman’s close contacts have been traced and none have been infected.

“We hope we were able to cut the transmission,” said DOH-CAR Asst. Director and spokesperson Amelita Pangilinan.

But regardless of the variant, Pangilinan said the public must continue observing the minimum health standards and to get vaccinated or boosted.

Nurse Karen Lonogan of the Regional Epidemiological and Surveillance Unit said that while cases are only minimal now, they continue to monitor active cases especially with the sudden jump in active cases of two last April 17 to 24, to 10 active cases as of April 26.

The DOH is also on the lookout for the possible clustering of cases due to the easing of the implementation of minimum public health standards and detection of the Omicron BA. 2.12 variant.

Based on the 1,449 samples submitted for sequencing at the PGC, the dominant variant of concern detected is the Delta variant with 586; followed by the Omicron variant – 460; Alpha variant – 307; Beta variant – 91, and .P3 or variant under monitoring, five.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said detection of the Omicron sublineage case in Baguio is not yet a cause of concern but said that an increase of cases infected with the said variant is still possible because of relaxed entry requirements into Baguio and increased interaction among people because of the campaign.

He said it is only a matter of time before another variant, the Omicron XE will be detected in the Philippines.

The BA. 2.12 is the subvariant triggering case surges in the USA and South Korea. 

There are currently 12 active cases in the region where 80 percent are asymptomatic and mild, and the 20 percent are moderate to critical.

The total number of cases recorded in the Cordillera since March 2020 is 118,121; 115,455 recoveries or a recovery rate of 97.74 percent, and 2,633 deaths. – Rimaliza A. Opiña