MANILA, April 27 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines has detected the first Omicron sub-variant BA.2.12 in a 52-year-old Finnish female who arrived in the country on April 2, the Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday.
The DOH said the patient has recovered and returned to Finland on April 21. It added the patient was not required to undergo routine isolation at a quarantine facility since she was fully vaccinated and asymptomatic when she arrived in the country.
"The female then traveled to a university in Metro Manila and then to Baguio City (in northern Philippines) to conduct seminars," the DOH said.
Nine days after her arrival in the country, the DOH said the patient experienced mild symptoms such as headache and sore throat.
Upon detecting the confirmed case, the DOH said the local epidemiology and surveillance unit conducted contact tracing to identify nine asymptomatic close contacts. Two of them were tested and found to be negative.
Scientists are still studying whether the Omicron sub-variant is more transmissible and can cause more severe disease.
The Philippines now has over 3.68 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 60,215 deaths. ■