The three travelers from South Africa being monitored by the Department of Health (DOH) showed no symptoms of COVID-19.
The South African travelers, who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, remain in a quarantine facility in Negros Occidental.
“They were immediately isolated once it was reported that they were from South Africa. Based on reports, the three are fully vaccinated, they do not have any signs and symptoms, they were just isolated for that purpose because they were from South Africa,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told the media.
Vergeire said that the travelers have been cleared by the Bureau of Quarantine and they came from South Africa when it was still under the ‘green’ travel list.
“No results yet from the RT-PCR. We are still waiting and monitoring,” Vergeire said.
“We are trying to coordinate also with the Bureau of Quarantine and accordingly, BOQ already said that when they released the three individuals, they were cleared by the BOQ, so extra measures are being done in Negros Occidental wherein they were again isolated by the local government,” she added.
The World Health Organization said that based on preliminary evidence, the new dreaded COVID-19 variant of concern ‘Omicron’ shows an increased risk of reinfection.
“Preliminary evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron (ie, people who have previously had COVID-19 could become reinfected more easily with Omicron), as compared to other variants of concern, but information is limited. More information on this will become available in the coming days and weeks,” the WHO said in a statement.
WHO said that it’s not yet clear if the new variant is more transmissible compared to other variants.
An experts group has been formed to study the impact of the new variant on the COVID-19 response including vaccines.
“There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants,” the WHO said.