DOH detects Omicron BA.4 subvariant in PH | Inquirer News
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DOH detects Omicron BA.4 subvariant in PH

/ 03:27 PM May 21, 2022
The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday announced that the country has reported its first case of COVID-19 Omicron sub variant BA.4, which is tagged as a “variant of concern.”

FILE PHOTO: A computer image created by Nexu Science Communication together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to COVID-19, shared with Reuters on February 18, 2020. NEXU Science Communication/via REUTERS

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday announced that the country has reported its first case of COVID-19 Omicron sub variant BA.4, which is tagged as a “variant of concern.”

In a statement, the DOH said the agency has detected Omicron-BA.4 “from a Filipino citizen who flew in from the Middle East last May 4, 2022.”

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“His positive test result for the subvariant was from a specimen collected on May 8. He was asymptomatic,” the Health agency added.

DOH noted that the BA.4 is considered by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control as a variant of concern, saying the subvariant’s “faster transmission is likely because of its ability to evade immune protection induced by prior infection and/or vaccination, particularly if this has waned over time.”

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“While the ECDC has not observed any change in severity for BA.4 compared to other Omicron subvariants, we must be careful because faster transmission will lead to a spike in cases that could overwhelm our hospitals and clinics,” the Health Department furthered.

It can be recalled that the DOH said they also detected a local transmission of the highly transmissible  Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1.

As of Saturday, the Philippines recorded a total of 3,688,508 cases of the new coronavirus, including 2,119 active cases, 3,625,934 recoveries and 60,455 deaths, according to DOH.

RELATED STORY:

PH detects local transmission of Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1 

JPV

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