THE Department of Health (DOH) has detected 32 more cases of the highly transmissible Omicron subvariant BA.5, bringing the total case to 43, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

Vergeire said out of the 32 new BA.5 cases, 21 were from Region 6 (Western Visayas), four each from Region 4A (Calabarzon) and National Capital Region (NCR), and three from Region 3 (Central Luzon).

“Sa mga kaso sa Region 6, siyam ay mula sa isang workplace cluster at tatlo naman ay mula sa household cluster,” she said.

She said 30 of them were fully vaccinated, one partially vaccinated, while the vaccination status of the other case is still being verified.

“At the moment, exposure of individuals is still unknown and travel histories are being verified,” said Vergeire.

She said 22 of the 32 individuals experienced mild symptoms, five were asymptomatic, and the other five are still being verified.

Vergeire said 16 of them have already been tagged as recovered, 14 are still undergoing isolation while the quarantine status of the two others are also still being verified.

Despite the increase in the detection of cases BA.5, Vergeire said it cannot be ruled yet that there is already a community transmission of these subvariant, as well as the BA.2.12.1 in which the country already had 42 cases.

“We cannot say that for now, tulad ng lagi naming sinasabi, we need scientific evidence for us to say there is community transmission happening...Ang community transmission ay hindi na natin nakikita na meron pagkaka-link ang bawat kaso. Dito po na nangyayari o nadedetect sa ating bansa o sa bawat lugar sa ating bansa. Sa ngayon, we are still seeing the link of these cases, although tama rin naman ang obserbasyon na nakikita natin na mukhang dumadami,” said Vergeire.

“But the link is still there but of course, we need further review of all of these cases so that we can be able to determine what type of transmission already is happening,” she said.

Vergeire said instead of focusing on terminologies and classifications, the public should be more aware and vigilant on how they are going to protect themselves and families from contracting the virus.

She noted the importance of the strict compliance to the minimum public health protocols, as well as the immediate isolation should symptoms of Covid-19 manifest. (SunStar Philippines)