DOH: 8 travelers from S. Africa yet to be located

(Eagle News) — Eight travelers who arrived from South Africa—which first announced the detection of the Omicron variant–have yet to be located.

According to Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire, the eight were among  the 253 individuals who arrived in the country before the Philippines imposed restrictions on travelers from South Africa and other adjacent countries amid the Omicron variant threat.

She said 80 have so far been located.

Of these, she said 71 ROFs and  three foreign nationals were in facility quarantine, four are undergoing home quarantine, while five have been discharged after their quarantine.

Earlier, the DOH said three travelers from Egypt, South Africa, and Burkina Faso have tested positive for COVID-19.

The DOH has submitted their samples for genome sequencing to determine the COVID-19 variant they had been infected with.

The World Health Organization has warned Omicron could evade immunity, with its over 50 mutations, many of which were concentrated in the spike protein that binds to the human enzyme the coronavirus attaches to to infect a person.

The WHO has said the Omicron variant could cause COVID-19 case surges leading to catastrophic effects.