PGC must sequence more samples to confirm if Omicron is dominant variant
The Philippine Genome Center needs to sequence more samples to verify if Omicron is the dominant COVID-19 variant in the Philippines.
"Based on our data, there are still a lot of Delta cases as of last December; not all are Omicron. But in the last sequencing run, because we really tried to focus on the returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and in the National Capital Region where we experienced cases and low cycle threshold value, We saw many Omicron results," PGC Executive Director Cynthia Saloma said during the ''Laging Handa'' virtual public briefing on Tuesday.
"Whether this is reflected in the fact that Omicron is already dominant in the country, we need to have further evidence," she added.
Despite the announcement made by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III that Omicron is the dominant variant, Saloma expressed belief there is a need to sequence more samples.
"The announcement made by the Secretary was primarily based on the 48 samples. I think for further conclusion, we need to get more samples from our cases so that we can have a better handle on the situation and to see if Omicron really overtook Delta," she said.
It can be recalled that during the Talk To The People with President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night, Duque announced that Omicron is now the dominant COVID-19 variant .
"Based on the last whole genome sequencing, 60 percent of the samples sequenced are positive for Omicron variant. So it is now the dominant variant ," said Duque. Robina Asido/DMS