Omicron now in Central Visayas

Published January 18, 2022, 4:10 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – The Department of Health-Central Visayas (DOH 7) on Tuesday, Jan. 18, confirmed the presence of Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the region.

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, chief pathologist of DOH 7, said they received a report on Monday that 22 patients tested positive for Omicron variant.

“Labing anim nito (Sixteen of these) are samples from our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), one returning overseas Filipino, and five from the local community. A total of 22,” Loreche said.

Loreche said the 22 results were part of the 78 samples that were sent to the Philippine Genome Center covering the periods of December 27, 2021 to January 6, 2022.

The confirmation of the presence of Omicron variant in Central Visayas came on the heels of steady increase of new infections in the region.

As the sharp increase of new COVID-19 cases continued, police in Cebu City have intensified its crackdown on curfew violators.

On Monday night, Jan. 17, operatives of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) conducted “Oplan Bulabog” and apprehended at least 60 persons who were caught in a bar beyond curfew hours.

As one of the measures to stem the spread of COVID-19, the city has enforced an 11 p.m.-4 a.m. curfew.

Violation of the curfew ordinance carries a fine of P1,000 or a four-hour community service.

Monday’s police operation was conducted in a bar in Barangay Capitol Site. A similar operation was also conducted in the same bar last November wherein dozens were also rounded up.

The city has been experiencing a surge of new COVID-19 infections.

In the data released by the Emergency Operations Center, the city on Monday, Jan. 17, tallied 671 new cases, the highest recorded in a single day since the pandemic struck.

The city started the year with only nine active cases but with the recent spike, its active cases have increased to 3,211, the most in entire Region 7.