MANILA, Philippines — The COVID-19 variant called Omicron has become predominant in the National Capital Region (NCR), with 15 of its 17 cities and municipalities with confirmed local cases, the Department of Health (DOH) reported Tuesday.
Dr. Alethea De Guzman, director of the Epidemiology Bureau of the DOH, shared the information in a House briefing on the COVID-19 situation in the country.
“Our latest whole-genome sequencing showed that the Omicron variant is now the predominant variant in the NCR… In the NCR, 15 of its 17 areas already have local Omicron cases,” De Guzman said.
Nationally, De Guzman said that the Omicron variant primarily drives the increase in COVID-19 cases. She noted that while the rise in COVID-19 cases is starting to slow down, it does not mean that cases are now going down.
“These case increases that we’ve seen especially in the NCR are driven by Omicron but are also facilitated by increased mobility, our reduced compliance to minimum public health standard, as well as delays in detection and isolation,” De Guzman said.
On Monday, the Philippines logged 37,070 additional coronavirus infections, pushing the country’s total case count to over 3.24 million, with over 290,000 currently sick with COVID-19.
Even though this is not the highest number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic, Monday’s cases are still among the highest the Department of Health has seen in its history, with a 46 percent positivity rate of the 77,410 tests performed.