The Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH WV CHD) encouraged the public, even those already vaccinated, to continue adhering to the minimum public health standards as the best defense against COVID-19 and any of its variants, including Omicron (B.1.1.529).
In a press release, Dr. Adriano P. Suba-an, regional director of DOH 6, stressed that the consistent and proper wearing of face mask, maintaining physical distance, frequent hand washing or sanitizing, and minimizing visits in close, crowded, and close-contact settings are the most basic ways to protect one’s self against transmission of the disease.
Also, the DOH said that the initiative to get vaccinated against COVID-19 should be promoted, especially among those still unvaccinated senior citizens and persons with co-morbidities, as they are at high risk of getting severe COVID-19 infection.
The eligible population who have already completed their primary doses are also encouraged to get their booster dose for additional protection.
With the threat of a possible Omicron spread, the DOH reiterates that all vaccines are safe and effective against COVID-19 and any of its variants.
While the Omicron variant shows increased transmissibility, the DOH noted that all vaccines can help prevent the risk of severe disease resulting in hospitalization and death.
Based on the DOH’s data, there are two Omicron variant cases tagged in the region. The first one is the 38-year-old male returning overseas Filipino (ROF) in Bacolod City who has been tagged as recovered already. While the other is the 46-year old seafarer from Kenya who is a resident of Arevalo, Iloilo City and currently undergoing facility quarantine, according to the Iloilo City government.
The DOH reminds the public to be mindful if they manifest signs and symptoms by immediately doing self-isolation and reporting to local health authorities to facilitate proper treatment and management. It is also recommended to submit for testing if needed. Testing kits have been provided by the DOH in various health facilities and through PhilHealth and local government units. (PIA6)