Three cases of the XBB.1.16 Omicron subvariant of COVID-19, commonly known as “Arcturus”, have been detected in Western Visayas, the Department of Health announced.
The three cases were in Bacolod City, Iloilo province and Guimaras, Dr. Jane Juanico-Esteva, DOH Medical Officer IV, said Wednesday, May 17.
All those hit by the variant were vaccinated and tagged as recovered, she said.
All three cases were locally transmitted, the DOH said.
The Arcturus subvariant is currently tagged by the World Health Organization as a variant of interest.
Current evidence for XBB.1.16 does not suggest any differences in disease severity and clinical manifestations compared to the original Omicron variant, the DOH said.
Juanico-Esteva said while the cases of COVID-19 have increased in Western Visayas, they have not been severe and were mostly asymptomatic.
She is encouraging the public to continue to protect themselves by wearing masks
Negros Occidental had 187 active COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the Provincial Incident Management Team reported,
Bacolod City had 98 active cases, the DOH added.*