THE Department of Health (DOH) on Friday, January 6, 2023, shrugged off the threat of the XBB.1.5 Omicron subvariant of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) despite recently being labeled by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the “most transmissible subvariant that has been detected yet.”

In a press conference, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there is no cause for panic over the threat of the XBB.1.5 subvariant.

“Much like other variants that came into the country, we don’t need to be fearful. We just need to be vigilant and cautious. We just need to keep in mind how to protect ourselves,” said Vergeire.

“For whatever variants that will come in the country, as long as our people know how to protect themselves, we need not to worry,” she added.

The health official said the public needs to continue their adherence to the minimum public health standards (MPHS).

Similarly, Vergeire said they are urging everyone to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

She said the country’s healthcare system must maintain preparedness for possible rise in Covid-19 cases.

“Whatever variant, no matter how transmissible, as long as our healthcare system is prepared and our people are protected, we don’t need to be fearful,” said Vergeire.

Last Wednesday, the WHO expressed concerns over how quickly the XBB.1.5 subvariant is spreading in the United States.

WHO officials even described the XBB.1.5 subvariant as the most transmissible subvariant that has been detected yet. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)