Negros Occidental PHO on alert after PH’s 1st Omicron subvariant case

April 28, 2022 by No Comments

The Provincial Health Office (PHO) in Negros Occidental is on alert after the country reported its first Omicron BA.2.12 subvariant of Sars-Cov-2, which causes the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.Provincial Health Officer Dr. Ernell Tumimbang said the BA.2.12 subvariant also known as “XE” was first detected in the United Kingdom.It is also known as the “stealth Omicron” as doctors and scientists initially had a difficult time tracking it in positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, Tumimbang saidJust like the original BA.1 Omicron variant, it is also highly infectious, although evidence suggests its symptoms are less severe compared to the Delta variant of Covid-19, he said.Tumimbang also said at present they are following the advice and mandates coming from the Department of Health (DOH) Central Office, especially on what to do once a new variant enters the province.Commission on Elections-Western Visayas regional election attorney lawyer Hazel Palencia earlier said as part of their strategy against a post-election Covid surge, they have extended the voting hours from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.Palencia said health protocols will strictly be observed at the voting precincts.Voters will be subjected to temperature checks and those who exhibit high temperatures will immediately be placed in a holding area to prevent them from mingling with other voters.Even the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office has announced earlier this week that they will no longer ask for additional manpower from other provinces as part of efforts to curtail the entry of new Covid-19 variants in the province.As for the provincial government, strict monitoring had been observed for travelers entering Negros Occidental with travelers being required to show that they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.Those who have yet to complete their vaccination or those who are still unvaccinated are being required to undergo rapid antigen tests.