January 12, 2022
MANILA — The Delta variant is still the most common variant of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) clarified on Tuesday.
“At present, the Delta variant is still the most common lineage in the country, comprising about 43 percent of detections, followed by the Beta variant at 18 percent, and the Alpha variant at 15 percent. There are still 43 cases of Omicron, comprising 0.21 percent of detections,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online media briefing, speaking in a mix of English and Filipino.
Vergeire made the clarification a day after Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte that 60 percent of samples sequenced in a recent genome sequencing run were positive for the Omicron variant, making it the dominant variant.
According to Vergeire, Duque was referring to only the dominant variant found in the latest genome sequencing run.
Meanwhile, the executive director of the Philippine Genome Center, Cynthia Saloma, said many Delta variant cases were still detected in December 2021 and it was only recently that the center did “purposive sampling” of returning overseas Filipinos and local cases in Metro Manila where the Omicron cases were detected.