PH detects four cases of Omicron subvariant BF.7
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has detected four cases of the Omicron subvariant BF.7, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.
The Omicron subvariant BF.7 is a BA.5 sublineage.
“Currently, the subvariant is still reported under BA.5 by the World Health Organization and will remain classified under Omicron until sufficient evidence arises showing that the virus characteristics are significantly different from Omicron,” the DOH said in a statement.
“As of current date, only four BF.7 cases have been detected in the country,” it added. The DOH, however, did not mention when and where the BF.7 cases were specifically discovered in the country – except for one case which was detected in Metro Manila.
The BF.7 was “initially flagged by the researchers due to its potential to be more transmissible than the wild type BA.5 and immune evading properties.”
But available evidence for the subvariant does not show any differences in severity of disease and/or clinical manifestations compared to the Omicron variant.
To avoid COVID-19, the DOH emphasized wearing face masks, isolating when unwell, getting vaccinated and boosted, and maintaining good airflow.
“If such factors will be adhered to and implemented by ourselves immediately, decline in cases may be observed sooner,” the DOH said.
As of December 22, the Philippines has 16,900 active COVID-19 cases.
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