Philippines confirms community transmission of omicron

Philippines confirms community transmission of omicron

Philippines confirms community transmission of omicron

The Philippine health ministry confirmed the local spread of the omicron coronavirus variant around Manila on Saturday, as infections hit a record high for a third straight day. The region is an urban sprawl of 16 cities home to more than 13 million people.

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The community transmission of the omicron variant is characterized by a steep rise in cases, Vergeire said, adding that infections may peak from the end of this month to mid-February.

The ministry reported 39,004 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, while active cases also hit a record, at 280,813.

With more than 3.16 million cases and nearly 53,000 deaths, the Philippines has the highest COVID-19 infections and casualties in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.