Friday, September 30, 2022

Don’t Let Your Guard Down, Palace Reminds Public

THE PHILIPPINE POST

Don’t Let Your Guard Down, Palace Reminds Public

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After health authorities confirmed two cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the Philippines, Malacañang on Wednesday reminded the public not to be complacent and continue adhering to minimum public health standards.

Acting Presidential Spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, said the government would “closely monitor” developments on the Omicron variant after the Department of Health (DOH) detected the Omicron variant in two travelers who recently arrived in the Philippines from Japan and Nigeria.

“We assure our people that we will closely monitor developments of the two cases in light of existing protocols, as we continue to remind the public not to let their guard down, to religiously observe minimum public health standards, and call upon all those unvaccinated to get their jabs as soon as possible,” he said in a Palace statement.

Nograles praised the country’s health and medical experts for their early detection of the Omicron variant.

“We laud our health experts, particularly the Department of Health, the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center and the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health for their early detection of these two cases,” he added.

He noted that the early detection forms part of the Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) strategy that has been in place all throughout the pandemic.

Citing the DOH, he said active case finding and contact tracing are being conducted to determine the health condition of co-passengers of the confirmed cases.

In a press statement, the DOH reported two imported cases of the Omicron variant from 48 samples sequenced on Tuesday.

The first patient is a Filipino returning from an overseas trip, who came from Japan on December 1, while the other case involves a Nigerian national who arrived from Nigeria on November 30.

“One is a Returning Overseas Filipino (ROF) who arrived from Japan on Dec. 1, 2021, via Philippine Airlines flight number PR 0427. The sample was collected on Dec. 5, 2021. His positive result was released on December 7 and the case was admitted to an isolation facility on the same date. He is currently asymptomatic but had symptoms of colds and cough upon arrival,” the DOH said.

“The other case is a Nigerian national who arrived from Nigeria on Nov. 30, 2021, via Oman Air with flight number WY 843. A sample was collected on Dec. 6, 2021, and the result was released on Dec. 7, 2021. He was then admitted to an isolation facility on the same date. His current status is also asymptomatic.”

The DOH assured that the patients carrying the Omicron Covid-19 variant are currently isolated in a facility being managed by the Bureau of Quarantine.

It is also verifying the test results and health status of all passengers of these flights to determine if there are other confirmed cases or passengers who became symptomatic after arrival.

Travelers who have arrived in the Philippines through these flights are advised to call the DOH Covid-19 hotlines at (02) 8942 6843 or 1555, or their respective local government units to report their status.

Earlier, World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned the public not to underestimate the Omicron variant, noting that it is “spreading at a rate we have not seen with any previous variant.”

Tedros noted that 77 countries have now reported cases of Omicron, and “the reality is that Omicron is probably in most countries, even if it hasn’t been detected yet.” (PNA)

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