DOH: First detected XBB.1.16 case asymptomatic, already recovered
MANILA, Philippines — The first infection of the XBB.1.16 Omicron subvariant of COVID-19 in the country was an asymptomatic case and has since already recovered, said the Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday.
The DOH reported the first case of the XBB.116 Omicron subvariant of COVID-19, also called the “Arcturus,” in its latest biosurveillance report on Tuesday.
“The detected XBB.1.16 case in Iloilo Province was asymptomatic and has already recovered,” the DOH told reporters in a Viber message.
According to DOH, Arcturus is a sublineage of the Omicron, which has the ability to evade immunity and is said to be more transmissible.
“Based on the latest risk assessment by the World Health Organization (WHO) last April 17, 2023, no changes in severity have been reported in countries where XBB.1.16. are reported to be circulating,” the DOH said.
“There may have been slight increases in bed occupancy in India and Indonesia, but levels are still much lower compared to the effects of the previous variants. Overall, risk assessment is said to be low,” it added.
The DOH then reminded the public to continue practicing available layers of protection against COVID-19, such as the wearing of face masks and isolating when sick.
It also urged the public to get vaccinated and boosted against the transmissible virus.
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