PGC yet to confirm if Omicron has overtaken Delta as dominant variant in PH
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) is yet to determine if the highly contagious Omicron has replaced Delta as the most dominant coronavirus variant in the Philippines, its chief said Tuesday.
PGC chief Cynthia Saloma said that based on the latest sequencing run, many Omicron cases were found but whether the variant is now the most dominant in the country remains to be confirmed by data with the whole sequencing results.
She noted that in genome sequencing in December, many Delta variant cases were still detected and it was only recently that the center did “purposive sampling” of returning overseas Filipinos and local cases in Metro Manila where the Omicron cases were detected.
“Now itong January, we have to confirm that data with whole sequencing results ano, pero ‘yung indication kasi na talagang ang Omicron is nasa palibot na natin is really this very, very fast increase of cases na almost exponential,” she said.
(Now this January, we have to confirm that data with whole sequencing results. But the indication that there is Omicron is on the observation that there is very, very fast increase of cases that is almost exponential.)
“This is really very characteristic of Omicron as experienced also by other countries. So, malalaman pa natin ‘yan (So, we still have to determine that). We will have more sequencing data towards the end of this week,” she added.
But Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier announced that Omicron has replaced Delta as the dominant variant in the country.
Duque said this is based on the latest sequencing run where about 60% or 29 of 48 cases were Omicron cases while 18 were Delta cases.
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