PH detects third imported Omicron case

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 20) — The country has detected a third case of the Omicron variant after an overseas Filipino worker returned to the country.

The Department of Health on Monday reported that the 36-year-old unvaccinated male patient arrived from Qatar on Nov. 28 and had travel history to Egypt.

The patient was quarantined in an isolation facility in Cebu upon arrival then tested positive on Dec. 4. He was sent home to Cavite after completing his quarantine. Upon finding out that he was positive for the Omicron variant, the asymptomatic patient was reswabbed and tested negative for COVID-19 on Sunday.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire added the case had three close contacts in Qatar Airways QR 924. They are all undergoing home quarantine and have tested negative for COVID-19 after a retest.

The World Health Organization has said it is not yet clear whether Omicron is more contagious or if it causes more severe disease than other variants of concern. But preliminary evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron.

The Philippines is imposing travel restrictions on eight nations to delay the entry of more Omicron cases.