By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Western Visayas region remains free from the Omicron variant of COVID-19 based on the latest report issued by the Philippine Genome Center (PGC).
Based on data released by the PGC as of Wednesday, December 8, of the 48 samples sequenced, they detected 38 cases of the Delta variant nationwide, with three of the cases from Western Visayas – one from Bacolod City and two from Guimaras.
It further noted that of the 38 Delta cases, 31 were local cases and seven are from returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs).
The country has now a total of 7,886 Delta cases.
Additional ROF cases and local cases from areas with case increases or clustering are now being prioritized for sequencing once the PGC receives the samples.
The Department of Health is also currently coordinating with COVID-19 testing laboratories to expedite transport of the samples.
The Omicron variant was first discovered in South Africa last November 24 and was declared a variant of concern last November 26 by the World Health Organization.
The newly-discovered variant is described to be “heavily mutated” and studies are still being carried out on how it behaves compared to other variants./DGB, WDJ