Muntinlupa maintains low active Covid-19 cases amid threat of Omicron BA.2.12.1

Published May 18, 2022, 9:32 AM

by Jonathan Hicap

The chief of the Muntinlupa City Health Office (CHO) said the city has low daily numbers of active Covid-19 cases amid the threat of the highly contagious Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1.

On May 17, the Department of Health confirmed the local transmission in the country of the BA.2.12.1 subvariant. It said cases were detected in Metro Manila, Western Visayas region and Puerto Princesa City.

Vaccination in Muntinlupa (Photo from Muntinlupa PIO)

“Local transmission means that local cases have been detected which cannot be epidemiologically linked to cases with significant international travel history. The most recent evidence indicates that Omicron BA.2.12.1 is highly transmissible due to additional mutations, compared to the original Omicron strain,” according to the DOH.

In a public briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there are 17 cases of Omicron BA.2.12.1 in the country: two cases in Metro Manila, 12 in Puerto Princesa and three in Western Visayas including one returning overseas Filipino (ROF).

Vergeire said there is no community transmission yet of the Omicron subvariant.

Muntinlupa CHO chief Dr. Juancho Bunyi said despite the cases of the Omicron subvariant in the country, the city has low active Covid-19 cases.

“Despite the recent detection of additional cases of Covid subvariant in the country, the city continues to maintain a low registry of new active cases on a daily basis,” he said.

Bunyi said in the past two weeks, the Muntinlupa City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) recorded an average of two new cases per day.

He reminded the public that with the local transmission of Omicron BA.2.12.1, the focus of everyone should be on preventing the spread of the virus.

“But recently, the DOH, in its report, had detected local transmission of SARS-CoV-2 subvariant. Although recovered, there were two cases reported in Metro Manila and with this threat ,the public is advised to focus again on the aspect of prevention to control spread of virus especially in the community,” he said.

According to Bunyi, “Everyone is advised to wear a mask regularly covering the nose down to the chin to ensure full protection. Observe proper social distance and avoid crowded areas. Meet people in open spaces rather than closed venues and continue washing or disinfecting your hands with soap or alcohol.”

He also advised residents to “get vaccinated and ensure added protection by availing of the booster shots. The city continues to hold its vaccination activities in seven selected vaccination sites citywide.”

The Muntinlupa CHO has been coordinating with the Department of Education’s Schools Division Office in the city “to accelerate vaccination efforts among children and adolescents now attending face to face classes to catch up with the city’s low coverage among these eligible population,” he added.

Vergeire said that “now that we have local transmission of Omicron BA.2.12.1, we must act fast. We are asking our health facilities and local government units to actively look for cases. Immediate isolation is advised for any person who has fever, cough, colds, sore or itchy throat, and other COVID-like signs and symptoms.”

“Testing using RT-PCR is strongly advised during active surveillance as the method also allows for genomic sequencing. Large clusters should be prioritized for investigation, and contact tracing for cases belonging to these clusters should be conducted,” she added.