No tweaks in COVID protocols despite ‘Arcturus’ case, says Defensor

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Despite having the country’s first case of Omicron XBB.1.16 or the “Arcturus” coronavirus sub-variant, there are no changes to Iloilo province’s Covid-19 health protocols.

The case involves a 16-year-old female patient who was admitted to the Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao district.

The Arcturus subvariant is a sublineage of the Omicron Covid-19 virus which can evade immunity and is said to be more transmissible, said Department of Health. (

Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. said the average daily cases of in the province have not changed at 3.71 average cases despite the Arcturus case.

Iloilo also remains at the Alert Level 1 classification of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

“The average daily attack rate remains at its level. We also checked the hospital utilization which is very low in our district hospitals and we are also monitoring the utilization of the tertiary hospitals. In other words, we monitor the severity of the disease. At the moment there is no need to adjust, checking all gatekeeper indicators,” said Defensor.

But, the governor reminded Ilonggos to wear their facemask in public transportation or in crowded places where physical distancing cannot be observed.