SIM Registration QUICK Links:
'More transmissible' Omicron subvariant detected in the Philippines

'More transmissible' Omicron subvariant detected in the Philippines

The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed 14 cases of the new Omicron subvariant BQ.1 in the Philippines.

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the presence of the new Omicron subvariant BQ.1 in the Philippines following the discovery of 14 cases in the latest genome sequencing.

Thirteen out of fourteen samples are local cases from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ilocos Region, Calabarzon, Central Visayas, and National Capital Region (NCR).

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing that the BQ.1 omicron subvariant is more transmissible and highly immune-evasive than other Omicron subvariants.

The discovery resulted from genome sequencing performed between October 28 and November 18.

BQ.1 is a variant of interest (VOI) according to the European Center for Disease Control. It has a trait that modifies the virus' characteristics to make it more infectious, cause more severe disease, and evade the immune system more effectively.

OCTA Research initially stated that BQ.1 may already be in the country, causing a visible increase in COVID-19 cases.

He also warned that due to the increase in the positivity rate, there could be another wave of cases, particularly in the NCR. However, Vergeire stated that while the increase in NCR positivity is visible, it should not be used as the sole basis for evaluation.

"But, as we always say, let us not limit our analysis to the positivity rate. The positivity rate is skewed because it is influenced by a variety of factors," Vergeire insisted that the country's low-risk healthcare utilization rate is still the most important factor today. 

iTacloban aims to help people by providing the most recent educational content such as online guides, tutorials, news, updates, and digital content from the Philippines and around the world. Email us at for business promotions or partnerships. facebook twitter email

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post