No need to panic with every new Omicron subvariant – expert

Published August 8, 2022, 1:19 PM

by Dhel Nazario

There’s no need to panic with every new iteration of Omicron since there is no evidence that it is taking over, an infectious disease expert said on Monday, August 8.

A passenger (C) sits inside a tricycle covered with a reminder to wear a mask, part of the Covid-19 health protocols, in Manila on February 16, 2022. Ted ALJIBE / AFP

Dr. Edsel Salvana said during the Laging Handa public briefing that Covid-19 vaccines currently being used are effective against getting a severe Covid-19 infection.

“Kinakailangan pa rin natin mag-mask para mas mababa yung risk na matransmit natin ito (We really need to still wear face masks to decrease the risk of transmission),” he added.

He said that variants will always enter since it is the nature of the virus to spread and mutate.

BA.2.75

Salvana explained that there is so far no evidence that suggests BA.2.75 is different from other Omicron variants. There is also a preliminary study that shows that it may be more transmissible but it is yet to be confirmed.

He also mentioned that people who are vaccinated and boosted have a lower chance of getting a severe Covid-19 infection just like with all other Omicron sub-variants.

“We’re just being cautious, being vigilant, but this does not really entail any special precautions na kakaiba dun sa BA.5 at dun sa other Omicron variants,” he stated.

“The things that we do for all Omicron sub-variants work against this as far as we know based on the evidence. Let’s not panic and remain vigilant,” he added.

Meanwhile, Salvana also said that there is no need to move to a more strict alert level since the Covid-19 cases are not as important as they were before. As long as the healthcare utilization is low, even with thousands of Covid-19 cases he sees no need to put stricter measures.

 
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