COVID-19 Crisis: Philippines now has 4 cases of Omicron variant

As families enjoyed the Christmas season here in the Philippines, the much-feared Omicron variant made its presence in the country felt again as the Manila Bulletin reported that there are now four Omicron cases counted. This is the result of the latest case that was discovered from yet another airline passenger who arrived from overseas and turned out positive (infected) in the country.

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

The country has detected its fourth case of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant Omicron, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday, Dec. 27.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing that the individual is a 38-year-old woman from the United States who arrived in Manila on Dec. 10 via Philippine Airlines flight PR 127. Her nationality was not disclosed.

Vergeire stated she was quarantined upon arrival and on December 13, experienced throat itchiness and colds. During the fifth day of her quarantine on Dec.14, her specimen was collected and her results returned positive on Dec. 15.

She mentioned that the individual was then placed in an isolation facility and was discharged asymptomatic after a 10-day isolation on Dec. 24. She explained that the detection of Omicron came after the woman was discharged from isolation.

She added that the individual remains to be asymptomatic and is scheduled to be retested on Dec. 28.

Currently, according to Vergeire, they are still coordinating with the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) regarding the flight manifest. “Rest assured lahat naman po ng dumarating kapag dumating po sila for example galing from US yellow country, they are all quarantine for five days tested on the fifth day, once negative they are sent home but they have to do home quarantine until the 14th day.

She assured that all passengers who arrive from other countries are quarantined upon arrival and are tested on the fifth day. If their results return negative, they are sent home to do home quarantine until the 14th day.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this latest development? Do you believe it is time for the national government to close the borders to international flights so that the Omicron variant’s growth in the Philippines can be stopped?

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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