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The Department of Health (DOH) has identified the first two cases of the Omicron variant.

Two imported cases of the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variation were discovered in 48 samples sequenced Tuesday, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

The DOH also reported 33 instances positive for the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant, with 13 cases having no lineage ascribed, in a joint statement with the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC) and the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH).

The newest sequencing run included samples from 21 returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), a foreigner, and 26 local individuals from areas with case clusters, according to the agencies.

“The two Omicron variant cases are arriving passengers who are currently isolated in a Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) facility,” according to the DOH.

An ROF who came from Japan on December 1 through Philippine Airlines flight number PR 0427 is one of the cases. On December 5, a sample was taken.

On December 7, his positive result was announced, and the case was placed in an isolation unit on the same day. He is currently asymptomatic, but had cold and cough symptoms when he arrived.

The third case is a Nigerian who arrived via Oman Air flight number WY 843 on November 30, 2021.

The sample was taken on December 6, 2021, and the results were announced on December 7, 2021.

On the same day, he was placed in an isolation facility. His current state is asymptomatic as well.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters over Viber that the cases had been quarantined since their arrival.

“We have distinct quarantine and isolation facilities in the quarantine facility. One is fully vaccinated, while the other is not “she continued.

The Department of Health is currently investigating possible close contact between co-passengers during these two instances’ flights.

“We’re getting the manifest today (We’re getting the manifest),” Vergeire added. “We’ll update all of you as soon as we have more facts.”

The Department of Health is also checking the test findings and health status of all passengers on these flights to see if there are any further confirmed cases or individuals who developed symptoms after arriving.

It urged passengers who arrived in the nation by plane to contact the DOH Covid-19 Hotlines at (02) 8942 6843 or 1555, or their local government units, to report their situation.

There were 14 ROFs among the remaining 33 Delta variant cases. The overall number of confirmed Delta variant cases now stands at 7,919.

“Three each from Central Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Caraga, and Soccsksargen, two from Western Visayas, and one each from the Cordillera Administrative Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Eastern Visayas, and Davao Region,” according to the DOH.

Following the discovery of imported cases of Omicron variant, the Department of Health urged the public to follow minimum public standards such as wearing face masks, washing hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol, maintaining physical distance, ensuring proper ventilation, and avoiding crowded areas.

It also advised individuals who haven’t been vaccinated to do so during the second leg of National Vaccination Days, which runs from December 15 to 17.

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