Omicron strain behind China surge now in PH


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The Department of Health (DOH) in the Philippines has announced that the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which has caused recent surges in China, has now been detected in the country. According to a recent biosurveillance report from the DOH, four cases of the Omicron subvariant BF.7 were identified in the Philippines based on genome sequencing conducted on December 14 and 15 by the Philippine Genome Center (PGC).

According to the Department of Health (DOH) in the Philippines, all four individuals infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 are located in Metro Manila. However, no further details about these cases were provided. Out of the 133 samples that were sequenced by the Philippine Genome Center (PGC), 45 were found to contain the XBC and 28 were found to have the XBB, which are two Omicron recombinants detected in October. The remaining samples contained Omicron variants that had previously been identified in the country, such as BA.2.3.20 and BA.5. The DOH stated that available evidence for the BF.7 subvariant does not suggest any differences in disease severity or clinical symptoms compared to the original Omicron variant, but it does have the potential to be more transmissible.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the BF.7 and BA.5.2 as sublineages of the BA.5 variant of COVID-19. Both of these subvariants have been the dominant strains in China since last month, and authorities there have relaxed some restrictions that had been in place. The BF.7 subvariant has also been spreading in the United States, India, and several European countries including Belgium, Denmark, France, and Germany. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has classified BF.7 as a “variant under monitoring” due to its global presence. The Department of Health (DOH) in the Philippines stated that the new subvariant will remain classified under the Omicron variant until there is sufficient evidence showing that it has significantly different characteristics from Omicron.

Capiz News
Capiz News
Online News Site from the province of Capiz in the Philippines.



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