With the detection of the more contagious Omicron subvariant in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) advised the general public to prevent a COVID-19 spread.
In an advisory, the health bureau reiterated the need of wearing a fitted face mask and keep hands clean. It also encouraged individuals who are experiencing the first sign of symptoms like fever, cough, colds, sore or itchy throat, to immediately isolate and contact a healthcare provider via 1555.
The advisory came after it detected the country’s first case of the highly transmissible Omicron BA.4 subvariant, involving a resident of Negros Oriental who flew in from the Middle East on May 4.
The asymptomatic patient who is now fully recovered remains under quarantine while waiting for his re-swab.
The BA. 4 is seen to be a highly transmissible subvariant of Omicron and a “variant of concern” because of its “ability to evade immune protection” even from vaccination, especially after such protection from the doses of immunization have already waned, the DOH added.
Which is why the health department also reminded the public to get boosters as theimmunity disappears over time.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has not observed if the subvariant results in more severe infections. It still cautioned that more transmissions could lead to a spike in cases.