MONITORING. Dr. Teodoro Yu Jr. (left), medical officer of the Cagayan de Oro City Health Office, and Mayor Oscar Moreno discuss the coronavirus disease 2019 situation in the city during a press briefing on Saturday (Jan. 8, 2022). The local government has noted that the average number of cases in the city has doubled for the last two weeks. (Screengrab via CDO City Information Office)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - The patient who tested positive for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus diseases 2019 (Covid-19) has not yet arrived in the city despite being tagged living here.

This was based on the follow-up investigation and tracing by the City Health Office (CHO), Dr. Teodoro Yu Jr., medical officer, said during a press briefing Saturday.

"The mobile phone number she gave (in the registration) was her aunt's because she has no local sim card, and the address she gave was her aunt's who resides in the city," he said.

According to data from the Department of Health (DOH), the patient is a 20-year-old college student who arrived in the Philippines on Dec. 21, 2021. On December 26, she tested positive for Covid-19 while in isolation in Manila.

On January 7, it was confirmed that she has the Omicron variant after her swab samples were tested in the genome center dated Dec. 29.

Earlier, Dr. Jasper Kent Ola, DOH Region 10's Epidemiology, Surveillance and Disaster Response Unit chief, said the tagging of the patient was based on the place of their residence, which they declared upon arrival to the country.

Yu said, based on the data of the contact tracing application, the Higala App, the patient would have arrived in the city on January 4, had her isolation in Manila not been extended.

The CHO led by resident epidemiologist Dr. Joselito Teodulfo Retuya is already in contact with the patient's aunt and the immediate family in the city.

Case spike

Even if the Omicron case has not yet arrived in the city, the CHO noted a doubling in the number of cases in the past two weeks.

Yu said the city is now experiencing an average of 88 local cases per week, or 22 average local cases, which he said has multiplied 11 times since the lowest figures recorded early December 2021.

"We should be conscious with our data, should not relax or get complacent," he said.

Mayor Oscar Moreno also said even if the Omicron variant was more transmissible, the public will not get the virus if they will remain vigilant in complying with the minimum health standards. (PNA)