MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) has detected 613 new cases of the highly-transmissible Omicron subvariants.

In its latest Covid-19 biosurveillance report, the agency noted that there were 694 samples sequenced by the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center on Jan. 28.

Out of the total samples, 252 or 36.31 percent were classified as BA.2.3.20; 201 or 28.96 percent as XBB; 25 or 3.6 percent as BA.5 (including 18 cases classified as BQ.1); 15 or 2.16 percent as XBC; two or 0.29 percent as BA.2.75; and 118 or 17 percent as other Omicron sublineages.

Screenshot from DOH website

“All additional BA.2.3.20 and XBB cases were local cases from all regions except Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Davao Region,” the DOH said.

“Among [the] 25 BA.5 cases detected, 16 were local cases from Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Central Visayas, Soccsksargen, Caraga, and NCR, and the remaining nine cases were Returning Overseas Filipinos”.

It added that the 15 additional XBC cases were from Zamboanga Peninsula, Soccsksargen, and Caraga while the two BA.2.75 cases came from Central Visayas and Caraga.

On Tuesday, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the recent case trends are either plateauing or declining but the “virus crosses borders” so the public must remain vigilant, observing minimum health and safety protocols such as getting vaccinated and wearing face masks. (PNA)