The Department of Health said Friday it found two people to have recovered from an infection with the omicron sub-variant that's driving a spike in South Africa.
The two BA.5 cases in the Philippines have no known exposure and no travel history, except for going to election precincts and their places of work in Metro Manila, spokesperson Rosario Vergeire told reporters.
First detected in South Africa last February, scientists have yet to determine if the BA.5 sub-variant causes more severe disease than other sub-variants.
The two cases in the Philippines, who both hail from Central Luzon, are fully vaccinated with booster shots, Vergeire said.
They isolated themselves after experiencing colds and coughs. While they are now asymptomatic and tagged as recovered, their two close contacts remain in isolation as one of them tested positive for the coronavirus.
Vergeire urged unvaccinated Filipinos to get their shots, while reminding the fully vaccinated to get their boosters shots for added protection.
More than 69.4 million Filipinos, or 77% of the target population, have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, said Vergeire. Almost 14.3 million have been given booster shots.