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Philippines reports first case of Omicron subvariant BA.2.12 with 44 close contacts



The Department of Health (DOH) announced the first case of Omicron BA.2.12, a subvariant of the highly transmissible Omicron variant that is causing a new wave of illnesses in the United States, on Wednesday, April 27.


According to the Health Agency, the BA.2.12 Omicron subvariant was detected in a 52-year-old Finnish woman who arrived from Finland on April 2.


The Department of Health stated that the individual had been to a university in Quezon City and then to Baguio City for seminars.


Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire indicated in a television interview that the country's first case had nine close contacts in Quezon City, five in Benguet, and 30 while onboard a commercial flight to Manila, for a total of 44 close contacts.


Moreover, according to DOH, the Finnish woman was completely vaccinated and did not have to go through quarantine when she arrived in the Philippines because she had no symptoms at the time.


Omicron BA.2.12 is not identified as a variant of interest or risk by the World Health Organization. According to preliminary research, BA.2.12 is 20% more transmissible than BA.2, the most common subvariant of Omicron.


As of now, there is not enough evidence yet on whether BA.2.12 can cause more severe symptoms.


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