Davao Region detected its first five Covid-19 cases with the Omicron variant, the Department of Health Davao Region (DOH-Davao) announced on Thursday, January 20.

In a press statement released online, DOH-Davao confirmed that three of the cases are Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROF) while the remaining two are local transmissions with no history of international travel.

“The Department of Health – Davao Center for Health Development confirms the detection of three Omicron (B.1. 1.529) variant of concern from the 35 specimens sent last December 23 and 29, 2022 to the University of the Philippines- Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC) and two more who were tested in other regions,” their statement read.

The five confirmed Omicron cases in Davao Region have been tagged as recovered upon the release of the Whole Genome Sequencing Report.

The first case is a 23-year-old male ROF. He was swabbed at the Philippine Red Cross Clark Molecular Laboratory and the sample was collected on December 18, 2021. He is currently at his residence in Davao del Sur.

The second case is a 27-year-old female and resident of Davao City who arrived from Singapore on December 18, 2021. Her sample was collected on December 21 last year and was processed at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC). She is tagged as fully recovered as of January 2, 2022.

The third case is a 44-year-old male ROF from the United Kingdom who arrived on December 22 last year. He is reported to be fully vaccinated and a resident of Davao del Norte. He completed his 14-day isolation in Manila before traveling to Davao Region. His sample was collected on December 26, 2021.

The fourth case is a 28-year-old, fully vaccinated female and resident of Davao Occidental with no history of international travel. She was swabbed for RT-PCR testing last December 11, 2021.

Lastly, the fifth case is a 63-year-old male who is fully vaccinated and a resident of Davao Occidental with no history of international travel. He was swabbed for RT-PCR testing last December 16, 2021.

With this development, DOH-Davao added that bio-surveillance in the region is heightened and the agency will expand its capacities to detect other variants in the region. The agency will also conduct “intensive case investigation” with the concerned local government units to ensure that the infected individuals and their close contacts will comply with the required isolation period.

“For the respective LGUs of the non-OFW cases, they are currently back tracing to determine their exposures and travel histories,” DOH-Davao said.

DOH-Davao said that at the latest, a total of 4,564 specimen samples from Davao Region were sent to the University of the Philippines - Philippine Genome Center for whole genome sequencing testing. (ICM)