The Philippines reported the first two Omicron Covid-19 infections from international travelers, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed. 

The first case is a returning Filipino who came from Japan on Dec. 1 via Philippine Airlines flight PR 0427. He tested positive and was sent to a quarantine facility on Dec. 7. The patient is asymptomatic but had manifested some symptoms like colds and cough upon arrival. 

The second case is a tourist who came from Nigeria on Nov. 30 via Oman Air flight WY 843. He tested positive on Dec. 7 and was also sent to an isolation facility on that same day. The DOH said that he is asymptomatic as well. 

Health Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said that only one of them is fully vaccinated. 

The health department is currently verifying the test results and health status of all other passengers. Vergeire added that they are still getting the list of passengers from the flight. 

The DOH is urging travelers from these flights to call the health department’s hotlines (02) 8942 6843 and 1555, or their respective local governments to report their condition.

Dr. Alethea de Guzman, director of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau earlier said that the Omicron variant may be over 10 times more transmissible than the original variant or 4.2 times more infectious than the Delta variant. 

The Omicron variant currently has 50 mutations, according to the DOH. Ronald Espartinez