Philippines Detects Fourth Case of Omicron COVID-19 Variant

The Philippines detected its fourth case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant on Dec. 27.

The Department of Health (DOH) announced in a press briefing that the fourth case was a 38-year-old female who traveled from the United States.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the patient arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Dec. 10 via Philippine Airlines flight PR 127.

According to Vergeire, the patient tested negative on Dec. 7 before traveling, but began to feel throat itchiness and colds on Dec. 13.

The patient took a test again on Dec. 14 and the results came back positive on Dec. 15.

The patient was transferred to an isolation facility after the positive result, but she is now isolating at home after she was discharged on Dec. 24 and was no longer showing symptoms.

Vergeire said the patient remains to be asymptomatic and will undergo testing again on Dec. 28.

The DOH is working with the Bureau of Quarantine and Department of Transportation to monitor possible close contacts of the case.

“Detecting Omicron cases remain to be among international arrivals, but its entry is inevitable. We want to further delay its entry to ensure local health systems are ready,” Vergeire said.

The Philippines reported its first two cases of the Omicron variant on Dec. 15, then reported its third case on Dec. 20.

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