Last October 18, there have been reports that the new Omicron subvariants has been detected in the Philippines. There are 81 confirmed cases of the new subvariant called Omicron XBB from two regions. It was reported by the DOH or the Department of Health that 70 are recovered and 8 are still undergoing isolation. While 193 cases of the COVID-19 XBC variant from 11 regions, 176 are fully recovered; however 5 have passed away. This subvariant was first discovered and rapidly spreading in Singapore.
The Singaporean Ministry of Health states that there is no sufficient evidence that the COVID-19 XBB causes a more serious illness. This subvariant has been one of the viruses that causes a rapid increase in COVID-19 infections in Singapore. The DOH has also confirmed its symptoms and its effect on humans, and there are no differences from the original Omicron variant.
On the other hand, the XBC variant is a combination of the Delta and BA.2 COVID-19 variants. There are still limited findings on this type of variant as the United Kingdom Health Security Agency are still undergoing examinations on this. As well as the World Health Organization are trying to figure out the potential risks, effects and symptoms this variant may bring.
The DOH has reported that the Philippines has already managed a low percentage of patients being hospitalized with the virus. In order to lessen the effect on hospital admissions, vaccination deployment should be accelerated and enough health system capacity should be ensured. To prevent the spread of COVID- 19 virus, it is advisable to keep a safe distance of at least 1 metre from others, wear a mask when indoors and outdoors, choose an open and well- ventilated places, keep your hands clean often with soap and water or an alcohol, and immediately get vaccinated or booster shots. It is best to stay at home when feeling unwell or exposed to someone who is infected with the virus to avoid the rapid spread of COVID-19.