Staff Report | Jan. 18, 2022
The Department of Health Central Visayas Center for Health Development Region 7 (DOH-7) has confirmed the local presence of the Omicron variant in the region.
This developed after they received results of the genome sequencing of 78 samples sent to the Philippine Genome Center. These samples were sent covering the period of Dec. 27, 2021 up to Jan. 6, 2022.
There were 22 samples that were positive of the variant.
According to Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, chief pathologist of DOH-7, the spike in cases and the five confirmed local transmissions are indications of the variant’s presence here in the region.
Of the 22 samples, 16 were Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), five (5) were locals, and one (1) Returning Overseas Filipino (ROF).
A LOCAL TRANSMISSION?
Loreche, in a message sent thru Viber, explained that local transmission could occur if the presence of the variant of concern is not linked to an outside exposure (OFW/ international traveler/ ROF) and the sample submitted is from the community.
“It is not a far possibility that it is locally present considering the rapid increase in cases,” the chief pathologist added.
Based on DOH-7’s Case Bulletin #578, Central Visayas currently has a total of 6,686 active cases.
ISOLATED AND DISCHARGED
However, those who tested positive from the variant already underwent isolation and were already discharged.
Loreche said they have also conducted contact tracing.
She added that they have yet to release the list of areas where these cases are.
“We are waiting for all LGUs to be informed muna,” she said.