The Philippines has confirmed the local transmission of the Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1.

Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing that three new cases of the subvariant were discovered in the Western Visayas region.

Vergeire said in a press briefing that one of the three confirmed cases is a fully vaccinated returning overseas Filipino from the United States while the other two are local infections. 

Among the two local cases, one is fully vaccinated while the other is still under verification. 

The said cases were all detected in Iloilo City, Vergeire shared. 

“Ito pong latest sequencing result, dito po tayo nakapagtalaga nitong tatlo nating bago na subvariant na BA.2.12.1. And we have detected this in Iloilo City,” Vergeire said.

The country has a total of 17 cases of BA.2.12.1 variant.

Sixteen of these are local cases: two in the National Capital Region; 12 in Puerto Princesa City; and two others in Western Visayas.

Vergeire also noted that 39 close contacts of the two cases in NCR have been undergoing quarantine. All of them are asymptomatic 

“So we have a total of 39 close contacts for these two individuals from NCR, mga colleagues nila, mga officemate sila. Sila po ay nai-quarantine. Lahat po sila asymptomatic,” she said.

“Wala na po tayong iba pang naiko-consider na close contacts nila because as soon as nag-positive po itong mga identified individuals… ‘yung mga close contacts were advised at once,” she added.


Ronald Espartinez