By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

MANILA (PNA) – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday confirmed that it has detected the “highly transmissible and immune-evasive” Omicron BQ.1 subvariant in the country.

(PNA Photo)

In a media forum, DOH officer in charge Maria Rosario Vergeire reported 14 new cases of the BQ.1 subvariant have been recorded to date.

“What we know so far from this BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 would be that it is more transmissible and also it is highly immune-evasive compared to the other subvariants of Omicron,” she said.

Thirteen of the recorded cases are local cases from the Cordillera, Ilocos, and Central Visayas regions, as well as the National Capital Region.

The DOH has yet to disclose where the remaining case came from.

BQ.1 is an offshoot of the BA.5 Omicron subvariant, which caused the increase in cases in August nationwide, according to health experts. (PNA)