Home DOH Confirms Successful Recovery of First Arcturus Case in the Philippines

DOH Confirms Successful Recovery of First Arcturus Case in the Philippines

doh confirms successful recovery of first arcturus case in the philippines

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Department of Health (DOH) announced on Wednesday that the first recorded case of the COVID-19 Omicron subvariant XBB.1.16, also known as Arcturus, has already recovered. 

The patient was asymptomatic and from Iloilo province. The DOH reported that this variant is a sublineage of the Omicron, which has the ability to evade immunity and is said to be more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

The World Health Organization and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control have been monitoring the Arcturus variant closely. According to the DOH, the Arcturus variant has been detected in 33 countries or jurisdictions across six continents. 

Despite this, the DOH emphasized that the overall risk assessment for this variant is still considered low. The WHO has not yet confirmed if Arcturus causes “sticky eyes” or conjunctivitis, and it is still not clear whether it causes different symptoms from the other strains of COVID-19.

“Aside from the known flu-like symptoms of COVID-19, other symptoms may vary from case to case, and studies are continuously ongoing of what effects the virus may entail. What is important is that cases remain manageable,” the DOH said.

However, some experts, including Dr. Guido David of the OCTA Research group, have suggested that the rising COVID-19 cases in the Philippines may be due to the spread of the Arcturus variant. The seven-day positivity rate in Metro Manila rose to 11.4% from 7.5% the previous week, according to the latest data from OCTA Research.

The DOH reminded the public to continue adhering to safety measures such as wearing masks, isolating when sick, ensuring good airflow, especially in public places, and getting vaccinated. 

The DOH stressed that vaccination remains to be the most effective and best long-term protection against the COVID-19 virus. At present, at least 78.4 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a total of 23.8 million people have had their initial booster doses, and 4.4 million have received their second dose.

While the detection of the Arcturus variant in the Philippines is a concern, the recovery of the first patient is a positive development. It is essential to remain vigilant and continue following safety measures and getting vaccinated to protect ourselves and our communities from the spread of the COVID-19 virus. – WhatALife!/Jayve

Sources: (1)(2)

Also read: IATF escalates COVID-19 Alert Level in 26 areas in PH; implements restrictions

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