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BA.5 transmission has been proven locally, but there has been no community spread.

MANILA, Philippines β€” The Department of Health (DOH) verified local transmission of the Omicron BA.5 subvariant in the country on Saturday, but noted that no community spread had yet been documented.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire stated in a Laging Handa briefing that declaring community transmission would mean that health officials would no longer be able to link one case to another.

Local transmission, on the other hand, occurs when a recognized case is infected by a local source who has never traveled outside of the country.

“At the moment, we cannot say that there is truly community transmission because if we say so, that means we cannot establish the linkage between isang kaso and isang kaso pa, so ngayon nakikita pa naman natin (At the moment, we cannot say that there is truly community transmission because if we say so, that means we cannot establish the linkage between isang kaso and isang kaso pa, which we

“So what we have right now is a local transmission of the subvariant,” she explained, “but we still need to demonstrate community transmission through proof.”

The BA.5 was found in two people from the same Central Luzon household, one of them is a 39-year-old woman and the other is a 51-year-old man, according to the DOH.

Both only traveled within the country, to Bulacan for the elections and Metro Manila for employment.

On May 15, the two had a cough and cold, according to Vergeire, causing them to get tested, which revealed they had coronavirus.

They were isolated from May 16 to May 30 and have now recovered.

Meanwhile, one of their two close household contacts had tested positive for Covid-19 and was placed in quarantine.

Initial research, according to Vergeire, reveals that the BA.5 and BA.4 sublineages are “more transmissible” than the BA.2 sublineage, which includes BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1.

She did point out, however, that there is no evidence that the mentioned subvariant produces a more severe case of Covid-19 at this time.

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