COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City issues public warning about Omicron variant

The Omicron variant is still being feared a lot by people and government officials as it is often being reported in the news and the recent published results of two separate studies that found the said variant more infectious and resistant to the COVID-19 vaccine of Pfizer. The Omicron variant was recently detected here in the Philippines and in relation to that, the City Government of Muntinlupa issued a public warning, according to a recent Manila Bulletin report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin report. Some parts in boldface…

The Muntinlupa City government has reminded residents to strictly follow minimum public health standards after the detection of the first two Omicron variant cases in the country.

Dr. Juancho Bunyi, head of the Muntinlupa City Health Office (CHO), said when the news about the detection of the Omicron variant cases came out, the CHO alerted all barangays and communities to be ready.

Muntinlupa’s Prevent, Detect, Isolation, Treat, Reintegration (PDITR) and the vaccination teams are on alert to ensure that the city is ready, Bunyi added.

He advised the strengthening of rescue units in barangays and the disaster risk reduction and management office due to the Omicron variant, and to strictly implement health protocols especially in malls and other closed areas, and crowded places.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), two Omicron variant cases were detected from 48 samples that were sequenced on Dec. 14.

One Omicron-positive case is a returning overseas Filipino (ROF) who arrived in the Philippines from Japan on Dec. 1 on Philippine Airlines flight number PR 0427. His sample was collected on Dec. 5 and he tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Dec. 7. The patient is in an isolation facility managed by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) and is asymptomatic but had symptoms of colds and cough upon arrival, according to the DOH.

Prior to the reporting of the first Philippine cases of Omicron, a lot of people have been going out visiting places and coming to varied businesses (stores, food-and-beverage, cinemas, etc.) for their needs and wants. This is evident in Alabang which has many places that attract people like Festival Mall and Commercenter in Filinvest City, the Alabang Town Center (ATC) and Molito commercial complex located just outside Ayala Alabang Village, and more. Those said places are known to attract customers not only from around Muntinlupa but also from BF Homes, Las Piñas City, Cavite province, Laguna province and more.

How the City Government’s public warning about the Omicron variant will affect local commerce remains to be seen.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what can you say about this latest local development? Have you done a lot of research about the Omicron variant already?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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