PH now has 28 cases of Omicron subvariant Arcturus –DOH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 25) — The country has detected 17 more cases of COVID-19 Omicron subvariant XBB.1.16, otherwise known as Arcturus, pushing the tally of such infections to 28, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

According to the latest DOH biosurveillance report from May 15 to 19, seven of the new cases were detected in Western Visayas, five in Davao Region, two in the National Capital Region, and one each in the Bicol, Central Visayas, and Mimaropa regions.

Tagged as a variant of interest by the World Health Organization (WHO), the country recorded its first case of XBB.1.16 last April in Iloilo in Western Visayas.

The patient had no symptoms and has since recovered.

The WHO said XBB.1.16 does not seem to cause more severe illness despite spreading faster than the other Omicron subvariants.

The DOH report also noted that a total of 199 infections in the country are XBB cases. Aside from the 17 XBB.1.16 cases, there were also 101 cases of XBB.1.9.1; 25 XBB.1.5; 17 XBB.1.9.2; 10 XBB.2.3; and 29 other XBB sublineages.

There were also 41 cases of the BA.2.3.20 subvariant, one case as XBC, and four other Omicron sublineages.