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DOH: No Omicron detected in latest sequencing run

/ 02:16 PM December 09, 2021
The Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday that no case of the Omicron variant was detected among 48 samples from COVID-19 patients in the latest genome sequencing run.

FILE PHOTO: Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (red) infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (yellow), also known as novel coronavirus, isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH/Handout via REUTERS.

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday that no case of the Omicron variant was detected among 48 samples from COVID-19 patients in the latest genome sequencing run.

Of the samples sequenced on Wednesday, 38 are Delta variant cases while the rest either had lineages from variants that are not of concern or had no lineages detected, the DOH said in a statement.

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This brings the total Delta variant cases in the country to 7,886.

The latest sequencing run tested samples from 12 returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and 36 local cases from areas “with high-risk average daily attack rates and case clusters.”

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Meanwhile, of the 38 Delta variant cases, 31 are local cases while seven were ROFs. Two of the ROFs had travel histories from Turkey and one each traveled from Jordan, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, and Peru.

Of the 31 local cases, six had addresses in Cagayan Valley, while five were from Cordillera Administrative Region. Mimaropa, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Soccsksargen, and Metro Manila had three cases each; Central Luzon and Calabarzon had two cases each, and one case was from Davao Region.

“Based on the case line list, one local case is still active, 27 local and all seven ROF cases have been tagged as recovered, and three local cases are currently being verified as to their outcomes. All other details are being validated by the regional and local health offices,” the DOH said.

The DOH also said that additional ROF cases and local cases from areas with case increases or clustering will be prioritized for sequencing. The agency said it is coordinating with testing laboratories to expedite the submission of these samples.

But even if no case of the Omicron variant was detected yet, the DOH reiterated its reminder for the public to observe public health protocols as protection against any COVID-19 variant of concern.

“Everyone should continue to properly wear a face mask, wash their hands often, observe physical distancing, and ensure proper ventilation. Moreover, getting vaccinated against COVID-19 helps prevent severe disease and death,” the DOH said.

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