The Department of Health (DOH) still sees the Omicron Covid-19 variant entering the Philippines.
During the Laging Hand briefing, DOH Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire reiterated that the entry of Omicron, first detected in South Africa, remains inevitable.
“Firstly, as we know from the very start, we cannot say that the Omicron variant will definitely not enter the country. What we are even saying here is when the Omicron variant will enter the country,” she said in Filipino.
“So, there is a great chance the Omicron variant will enter the country and we are preparing for it,” she added in Filipino.
Vergeire thus reminded the public to continue observing basic health protocols to prevent the further spread of Covid-19.
No case of the Omicron variant has been detected from the latest 48 samples sequenced on Dec. 8, the DOH had reported.
Of the samples sequenced, 38 or 79.17 percent were Delta variant cases while the rest had non-variant of concern lineages or had no lineages detected.
The latest sequencing run was composed of 12 returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and 36 local cases from areas with high-risk average daily attack rates and case clusters.
Of the additional 38 Delta variant cases, 31 were local cases and seven were ROFs.
Two ROFs had travel histories from Turkey and one ROF each from Jordan, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama and Peru.