The Philippines on Tuesday logged17,677 new COVID-19 infections as it authorities detected the "stealth" lineage of the omicron variant in the country.
The day's tally brought active cases to 247,451 with a total of 33,144 new recoveries and 79 new deaths reported.
Overall, a total of 3,459,646 COVID-19 cases have been reported since the pandemic began in March 2020, of which 3,158,597 have recovered and 53,598 died.
The new lineage, called "stealth omicron" or BA.2 is so named because it is not as easily detectable in RT-PCR tests compared to the original lineage, BA.1, according to The Guardian. It is considered a variant under investigation in the UK as scientists check whether it is more easily transmissible.
The Department of Health earlier said it would study how the newly detected lineage affects transmission.
"Walang nakitang significant difference sa clinical presentation ang BA.1 at BA.2 at kinakailangan pa rin po ng masusing pag-aaral dahil limitado pa rin naman ang ating mga obserbasyon na ating nakukuha dito," Health Usec. Rosario Vergeire said.
Stealth omicron is predominant in most regions in the country, said Vergeire. Unlike its predecessor delta, most omicron infections caused no symptoms to moderate symptoms, which can be treated at home, she added.
As cases remain high, most areas in the Philippines are under Alert Level 3, under which workers who were laid off or suspended due to permanent or temporary closure of companies are entitled to one-time P5,000 cash assistance from the government, the Department of Labor and Employment earlier said. Check out our guide on who can apply for it.
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