Stricter health protocols ‘not yet needed’ despite presence of Omicron BA.2.12.1 — expert

Published May 16, 2022, 5:10 PM

by Manila Bulletin

An infectious disease specialist said that stricter health protocols are not yet recommended despite the presence of Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1 in the country.


“Hindi naman umaakyat ‘yung cases, ok naman ‘yung healthcare capacity natin so I don’t think kailangan naman maghigpit. Mayroon tayong metrics kung saan natin itataas yung alert level lalo na kung mukhang nape-pressure ‘yung ating healthcare system (The number of cases is not increasing and our healthcare capacity is okay so I don’t think we need to be stricter. We have metrics where we can base when we will increase the alert level especially if it shows that our healthcare system is under pressure),” said infectious disease specialist Dr. Edsel Salvana at the Laging Handa briefing Monday, May 16.

Salvana also reminded people that they should still follow basic health guidelines such as properly wearing masks, social distancing, vaccination, and getting boosted because these are still the best defenses against any Covid subvariant.

He also said that balancing public health safety and the economy is what they Are trying to do, so implementing tighter restrictions will affect the people and their jobs.

The placement of some areas under Alert Level 2 is not because of the BA.2.12.1 but due to the percentage of unvaccinated people in that area who did not meet their “metrics for minimum vaccination of their population,” added Salvana.

“Alam naman natin dapat at least 70% ng eligible population are vaccinated (We know that at least 70 percent of the eligible population should be vaccinated),” said Salvana.

He also stated that Omicron subvariants BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1 are 23 to 27 percent more contagious compared to the original Omicron variant but they’re less likely to give severe symptoms.

There are 12 reported cases of BA.2.12.1 sub-variants in Palawan and two in Manila. (Luisa Cabato)