MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) announced the country’s first case of Omicron BA.2.12, a subvariant of the highly transmissible Omicron variant that is causing a new wave of infections in the United States, on Wednesday, April 27.
The case is a 52-year-old Finnish woman who entered the country on April 2 from Finland. She was not required to go through standard quarantine because she had been completely vaccinated and arrived symptom-free.
The Department of Health said the patient had been to a university in Quezon City and then to Baguio City for seminars. She began to feel mild symptoms such as a headache and sore throat nine days after arriving in the country.
After she completed seven days of isolation, the case was labeled as recovered. On April 21, she returned to her home.
Omicron BA.2.12 is not identified as a variant of interest or concern by the World Health Organization. According to the initial study, BA.2.12 is 20 percent more transmissible than BA.2, the most common subvariant of Omicron in the Philippines and the rest of the world.
BA.2.12 may produce more severe symptoms, but there isn’t enough data to say so.
“The public can avoid all variants, whether new or currently circulating,” the DOH added.
“They can do so by continuing to wear the best-fitting masks, isolating when sick, doubling up on protection through vaccines and boosters, and ensuring good airflow.”