DOH confirms first cases of Covid variants CH.1.1, XBB.1.5


The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday confirmed the detection of first CH.1.1 and XBB.1.5 cases in the country.

In a statement issued on Tuesday night, the DOH clarified that CH.1.1 is a sublineage of BA.2.75 while XBB.1.5 is a sublineage of XBB. 

“Both are reported under BA.2.75 and XBB respectively. ECDC has tagged CH.1.1 as variant under monitoring (VUM) and XBB.1.5 as variant of interest (VOI), but the WHO has not provided specific classification yet,” the DOH said.

“Just like any other variants and subvariants which had been detected, the DOH employs everyone to comply with our usual minimum public health standards, get vaccinated/boosted, and know the individual risk assessment in all activities,’ the DOH added.

 The DOH assured that is continuously monitoring these variants and coordinating with WHO for more guidance. 

“We laud our team from Department of Health and sequencing laboratories of UP-PGC (University of the Philippines -Philippine Genome Center) and RITM ( Research Institute for Tropical Medicine) in the initiatives and efforts in ensuring continuous surveillance at borders and communities and genome sequencing of Covid-19 variants. 

The DOH also clarifies that even with these detections of these variants and subvariants, the important indicator is that our hospitals remain to have manageable number of Covid-19 admissions and severe/critical cases are manageable.