Transmission of Omicron subvariant in Davao City ‘just a matter of time’ but city is ready

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 May) — The transmission of the Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1 in Davao City might just be a matter of time but Dr. Michelle Schlosser, spokesperson for the city’s COVID-19 Task Force, said the city is ready. 

Schosser told Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) that the entry of this more infectious Omicron subvariant into the city cannot be prevented even with strict border control.

Grandma gets second booster shot at the food court of Abreeza Mall in Davao City on 13 March 2022. MindaNews photo by CAROLYN O. ARGUILLAS

“We are anticipating that it’s just a matter of time. It will come whether we impose stricter border control measures as the virus will still find its way here, as it did before, because we cannot see the virus,” she said.

The city has 14 active COVID-19 cases as of May 15, according to Schlosser.

She said the local government finds it difficult to detect the carriers of the virus, many of whom are asymptomatic while others hide their mild symptoms.

“Now that we have a variant, now I can really assure the public that we are prepared in Davao City because we have already in place strategies that we can activate in case of a spike in the number of cases,” she said.

She said the city’s strategies, including, swabbing, quarantine, isolation, and contact tracing are not suspended even though active cases are low at present.

She said the task force is also expecting an increase in COVID-19 cases by the third week of this month due to activities related to the recently concluded May 9 national and local elections.

“We are waiting for a two-week period from the elections if it will have an effect on our cases,” she said.

She said the local government is also doubling its efforts to reach out to more residents for booster shots.

She said they are starting mobile vaccination for government offices and also targeting workers in business process outsourcing, banks, restaurants, malls, and other private establishments.

“What we are strengthening right now is to make sure all residents get vaccinated before this variant will cause us trouble,” she said.

She said although there is not much information available on this Omicron subvariant, it is preventable through wearing of face masks.

She said local authorities are intensifying the implementation of Ordinance No. 0307-20, penalizing the non-wearing of face masks in public places.

Under the ordinance, a fine of 500 pesos is imposed for the first offense; 2,000 for a second offense; and 5,000 or one-month imprisonment for the third offense. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)