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Pateros, the smallest local government unit (LGU) in Metro Manila with an estimated population of 70,000, has recorded an increase in active coronavirus disease, according to a report by Manila Bulletin.

According to the Pateros municipal government, as of Jan. 19, the town has 485 active COVID-19 cases, up by 38 cases or 8.5 percent from 447 recorded on Jan. 17.

On Jan. 19, Pateros added 86 new COVID-19 cases, 52 recoveries, and zero deaths amid the earlier declaration by the Department of Health (DOH) that there is already community transmission of the Omicron variant in the National Capital Region (NCR).

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In the last seven days, Pateros added 593 new COVID-19 cases as its confirmed cases rose from 8,642 on Jan. 13 to 9,235 on Jan. 19.

From Dec. 31 to Jan. 19, the municipal government recorded 1,243 new cases from 7,992 to 9,235 confirmed cases.

The DOH reported on Jan. 19 that 492 new Omicron variant cases were detected from 714 samples that were subjected to whole genome sequencing, or 69 percent of the total. Delta variant cases totaled 115 (16 percent) and one Alpha variant (0.1 percent). The samples were sequenced on Jan. 13 and 14.

This brings the total number of Omicron variant cases in the country to 535 out of the small number of samples sequenced.

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According to the DOH, of the 492, three cases are still active, two have died, 467 have been tagged as recovered, and 20 whose outcomes are being verified.

Of the 492 Omicron variant cases, 332 are local cases (67 percent) and 160 (33 percent) are returning overseas Filipinos.

From the 332 local cases, 227 (68 percent) are from the National Capital Region, 76 (23 percent) from the CALABARZON area, 11 (3.3 percent) from Central Luzon, and five (1.5 percent) from Central Visayas.

Two cases each were from the Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, Davao Region, SOCCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City) and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and one case each from Ilocos Region, Mimaropa (Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon-Palawan, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

During the “Laging Handa” public briefing on Jan. 15, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said, “First of all, here in the National Capital Region, we are seeing community transmission of the Omicron variant.”

Time will come, she said, that Omicron will be the dominant variant in the Philippines if the trend in the fast transmission of the virus continues.

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