The Philippines reported 1,200 new BA.5 Omicron subvariant cases according to the latest sequencing results from September 24 to 26, the Department of Health (DOH) said. 

The DOH said that 1,199 cases were local while one case was Filipino who arrived from a foreign country.

“Ang BA.5 dito po sa ating bansa is already at around 41% among Omicron subvariants that we have detected,” DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

Moreover, 33 BA.4 Omicron subvariant were also discovered. Among that number, 31 came from Soccsksargen and two from Northern Mindanao.

The health department also confirmed 186 infections of “no assigned lineage,” 162 cases of “other sublineages,” and one case of “other lineage assigned.”

Vergeire explained that mutation is part of the virus’ life cycle. 

“Gusto lang namin ipaalala sa ating mga kababayan that this virus kasama sa kanyang lifecycle ang pagmumutate,” she said.

“Nagmumutate ang virus kapag favorable ang kondisyon niya ibig sabihin may mga immunocompromised tayo na walang bakuna. Ibig sabihin maaring na may fully vaccinated status tayo pero marami namang walang booster na maaring magtrigger na pagmumutate ng virus,” she added.

Ronald Espartinez