Prepare for more Omicron subvariants: Philippine health expert

·Senior Editor
·1 min read
A hospital worker is inoculated with a booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine against the coronavirus disease in Valenzuela Medical Center, Valenzuela City, Philippines, April 25, 2022. An infectious disease expert warned that the country must prepare for the subvariants of Omicron. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
A hospital worker is inoculated with a booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine against the coronavirus disease in Valenzuela Medical Center, Valenzuela City, Philippines, April 25, 2022. An infectious disease expert warned that the country must prepare for the subvariants of Omicron. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

While more transmissible COVID-19 Omicron subvariants have already appeared in the Philippines, there is no need to panic, said infectious diseases expert Dr. Rontgene Solante on Monday (May 23).

Instead, he urged the country to be ready with its protocols to prevent easy transmission, according to Inquirer.

Speaking at the Laging Handa public briefing, Solante alluded to BA.4, which originated from South Africa, and BA.2.12.1, which is becoming the dominant strain in the United States. BA.4 was recently detected in a Filipino who arrived from the Middle East, while BA.2.12.1 has been detected in Palawan province and Metro Manila.

“Monitoring is very important now since we now have two of these lineages that are considered to be highly transmissible and can also evade vaccine protection,” said Solante.

He added that a surge could be avoided with the continued use of face masks and booster shots.

The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday reported 1,214 COVID-19 cases from May 16-22, or an average of 173 infections a day. This is 9.9 percent higher than the previous week.

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