Two Bohol natives have tested positive for the more contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19, Department of Health (DOH) 7 chief pathologist Dr. Mary Jean Loreche confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.
Loreche told the Chronicle that the two individuals are Returning Overseas Filiponos who arrived in the Philippines through the Cebu-Mactan International Airport. They tested positive while undergoing the mandatory quarantine for international travelers entering the country.
The health official however clarified that the two individuals have already been discharged from quarantine and were allowed to return to Bohol after recovering from the disease.
Loreche added that there is still no recorded local transmission of the Omicron variant in Bohol.
According to Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) spokesperson Dr. Yul Lopez, they have yet to determine if the two individuals have arrived in Bohol.
Lopez noted that one of the COVID-stricken persons is a 51-year-old man from Pilar town who arrived in the Philippines late in December.
“Gikan sa gawas, pag-abot sa Cebu swab unya ni positive siya December 30, 2021 didto siya ma-detect. So gi quarantine ni siya sa Cebu pero nahuman na ni siya sa 14 days,” said Lopez.
The other Omicron carrier is a 22-year-old man from Dauis town.
Lopez said that if they can confirm that both have indeed completed their quarantine in Cebu, they will no longer conduct contact-tracing operations.
“Wala na [contact tracing] kung confirmed na-resolved na siya, kanang nahuman gyud sa quarantine. Of course, duna tay investigation. So depende nana sa investigation,” Lopez said.
Although there has been no officially recorded local transmission of Omicron in Bohol, Lopez noted that it may be presumed that the more transmissible variant is already in the province considering the surge in cases in the province
“Hasta si [DOH] Sec. [Francisco] Duque ni ingon na ang Omicron na ang dominant variant all over the country, so possible na unofficially naa na gyu’y Omicron, mag assume nalang ta ana,” said Lopez. (A. Doydora)