THE Aklan Provincial Health Office (PHO) has recorded the first Omicron variant case in the province.

In a statement released Wednesday noon, January 26, Provincial Health Officer 1 Dr. Cornelio Cuachon said the case is a 42-year-old female from Batan town.

"She is symptomatic and has a high risk of close contact and is fully vaccinated. Swab specimen was obtained last December 26, 2021 and was sent to Dr. Rafael S. Tumbukon Memorial Hospital Molecular Laboratory (DRSTMH)," he said.

The result of the patient’s swab test was released on December 26, 2021 and the sample was sent to the Philippine Genome Center last January 7, 2022 for whole genome sequencing.

Cuachon said the patient has undergone strict home quarantine and has already recovered.

"We advise the public to remain calm and vigilant," Cuachon added.

According to the Provincial Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (Pesu), Aklan currently has 949 Covid-19 cases, of which 10 had died.

On January 16, Kalibo Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc warned ati-atihan devotees of a possible surge in Covid-19 cases in the province due to the Omicron variant.

Governor Florencio Miraflores also reported that some newly-born babies have contracted the virus at the DRSTMH.

Miraflores revealed this in a meeting with the Provincial Agriculture Fisheries Council held last January 21.

"We are worried about their increasing numbers. The babies got infected because their mothers failed to be vaccinated against Covid-19," he said.

He, however, did not reveal how many infants were infected. But Pesu records showed that 96 Covid-19 patients have been confined at the DRSTMH.

"We continue to encourage our residents to be vaccinated," Miraflores said.

As of January 10, 82 percent of Aklan’s target population have been vaccinated.

Reports coming from the 17 municipal health offices revealed that 217,458 adults have already been fully vaccinated and 42,528 children were inoculated.

At present, several institutions in the province are mandating the “no vax, no entry” policy. Among them are the Aklan Electric Cooperative, Metro Kalibo Water District, Aklan Provincial Capitol, Ibajay Local Government and even the barangay hall of Barangay Tigayon, Kalibo. (SunStar Philippines)