COVID-19

Philippines detects 492 more Omicron cases

Bonz Magsambol
Philippines detects 492 more Omicron cases

CHECK. Quezon City authorities check on vaccination cards of commuters on the first day of the DOTR's 'no vaxx, no ride' policy on January 17, 2022.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

(1st UPDATE) The 492 newly detected Omicron cases account for 68.9% of the 714 positive samples that underwent genome sequencing on January 13 to 14
Philippines detects 492 more Omicron cases

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday, January 19, reported the detection of 492 cases of the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19, including 332 local cases.

“The 492 Omicron variant cases are composed of 332 local cases and 160 Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs),” the DOH said.

Here’s the breakdown of the detected cases per region:

  • National Capital Region – 227
  • Calabarzon – 76
  • Central Luzon – 11
  • Central Visayas – 5
  • Cagayan Valley – 2
  • Western Visayas – 2
  • Davao Region – 2
  • Soccsksargen – 2
  • Cordillera Administrative Region – 2
  • Ilocos Region – 1
  • Mimaropa – 1
  • Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao – 1

“Based on the case line list, three cases are still active, two cases have died, 467 cases have been tagged as recovered, while there are 20 cases whose outcomes are still being verified,” the DOH said.

The 492 newly detected Omicron cases accounted for 68.9% of the 714 positive samples that underwent genome sequencing on January 13 to 14.

The DOH also reported the first two deaths due to Omicron. 

“Both were detected during the latest whole genome sequencing. Both deaths were aged more than 60 years, unvaccinated, and had pre-existing medical conditions,” the DOH said. 

The DOH reminded the public that though Omicron causes less severe symptoms, data showed that “most at risk for fatalities are still the elderly and those with co-morbidities and unvaccinated.”

The Philippines now has 535 cases of Omicron, but there are concerns that the actual number may be far higher, as the Philippine Genome Center is only sequencing a small percentage of the positive cases.

The DOH also reported 115 new cases of the Delta variant and one case of the Alpha variant, bringing total variant cases to 8,612 and 3,170, respectively.

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The Philippines is experiencing a fresh surge in infections due to the highly contagious Omicron variant. On Saturday, January 15, the country recorded its highest single-day tally of cases at 39,004. The Philippines now has over 3 million cases of the deadly virus. – Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.