Omicron to be predominant SARS-CoV-2 variant in PH soon —WHO
MANILA, Philippines — The Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant will soon be predominant in the country, replacing the now dominant Delta variant, World Health Organization country representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said on Wednesday.
“We have been trying to understand the spread of Omicron in the Philippines and it is not surprising because the transmissibility of Omicron is significantly higher than the currently dominant Delta variant. And so, we would expect to see Omicron displacing the Delta variant,” Abeyasinghe said during the Laging Handa briefing.
However, among the latest run of sample sequencing, collected from the National Capital Region (NCR) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), Omicron is the most dominant, Abeyasinghe noted.
“Now, the problem is that we have seen a very small number of sequencing results of the last month, in December, and the last batch of samples was largely from NCR and from returning overseas Filipinos who tested positive and so, it’s not surprising that among the ROFs and also in NCR that we are seeing now, Delta variant being displaced by the Omicron variant,” he said.
“To say whether it is the predominant variant in the country, it will soon be so but because we have very few sequencing results from the other regions, it’s difficult to conclusively judge. But, it’s not entirely a surprising result, and we believe that in the near future, Omicron will displace Delta variant as the predominant variant as it has done in several other countries,” Abeyasinghe continued.
To date, the country has detected 43 Omicron variant cases and 8,497 Delta variant cases.
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