MANILA – A health official on Monday said a third case of the Omicron (B.1.1.529) coronavirus variant has been detected in the country.

In an online media forum, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the case is a 36-year-old returning overseas Filipino (ROF) who already tested negative for Covid-19 on December 19 after a repeat test.

He arrived at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport from Qatar on November 28. A sample was collected from him on December 4 which yielded a positive result on December 5.

“The case completed his isolation in Cebu before traveling back to Cavite, his hometown, where he immediately self quarantined upon arrival. The case is currently finishing his home quarantine in Cavite and has remained asymptomatic since his arrival," Vergeire said.

The DOH, Vergeire said, is in the process of identifying the possible close contacts of the case among his co-passengers.

It is also verifying the test results and health status of all passengers of the flights taken by the confirmed cases.

On December 15, the Department of Health reported the first two imported cases of the Omicron variant.

One of the cases is an ROF who arrived from Japan on December 1 via Philippine Airlines flight number PR 0427.

The other case is a Nigerian who arrived on November 30 via Oman Air with flight number WY 843.

On December 16, the DOH said the cases remain in isolation and under close monitoring, and seven close contacts of them have been identified. (PNA)