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Philippines confirms first 2 Omicron cases - 1 min read

Manila: Philippines has recorded its first two confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in two travellers from Nigeria and Japan respectively, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday.

The DOH said that the Nigerian national arrived in Manila on November 30 via an Oman Air flight, while the returning overseas Filipino arrived on December 1 via Philippine Airlines from Japan, Xinhua news agency reported.

The two Omicron-positive individuals are now isolated in a facility managed by the Bureau of Quarantine. The Filipino had symptoms of colds and cough upon arrival, it said.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters that one traveller was fully vaccinated while the other was not.

The DOH is determining possible close contacts among co-passengers during the flights of these two cases.

“The DOH is verifying the test results and health status of all passengers of these flights to determine if there are other confirmed cases or passengers who became symptomatic after arrival,” it added.

As per the DOH, the two cases of the Omicron variant were detected from the 48 samples sequenced on Tuesday.

With the detection of the Omicron variant, they urged people to adhere to the minimum public standards and properly wear face masks, frequently wash hands, observe physical distancing, ensure proper ventilation, and avoid crowded areas.

“Moreover, this holiday season, the public should avoid holding mass gatherings to curb the transmission of Covid.” It also urged the unvaccinated people to get their Covid shots.

Philippines now has over 2.8 million confirmed Covid cases, including 50,351 deaths.

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