DOH cannot disclose if Gwyneth Chua has Omicron

The Department of Health said the genome sequencing results of Gwyneth Chua’s swab sample already came out, but it could not be disclosed if she has due to data privacy.

According to Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire, DOH, could not reveal the results due to Republic Act 11332 on disclosing notifiable diseases and the Data Privacy Act.

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“Lumabas na po kahapon ang ating genome sequencing results and we’re still trying to verify,” Vergeire said at the Palace briefing.

[Our results were released yesterday, and we’re still trying to verify.]

“Kailangan lang po maintindihan ng nating mga kababayan na ang mga datos na ganito po ay nasasaloob sa ating batas na RA 11332 atsaka sa Data Privacy Act so we cannot disclose the results of our genome sequencing to the public,” he added.

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[The public needs to understand that this kind of data is included in RA 11332 and the Data Privacy Act, so we cannot disclose the results of our genome sequencing to the public.]

The  is investigating an increase of 29 new Omicron cases in collaboration with the Philippine Genome Center (-PGC) and the -National Institutes of Health (-NIH), Thursday.

DOH cannot disclose if Gwyneth Chua has Omicron

Those mentioned above were observed from 48 samples sequenced since January 2.

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The 29 new cases consist of:

  • returning overseas Filipinos (10)
  • local cases (19)

“The 29 cases are composed of 10 ROFs and 19 local cases with indicated addresses in the National Capital Region, bringing the total number of confirmed Omicron variant cases to 43,” according to a statement released by the  earlier.

Vergeire said genome sequencing results could not determine if there is already a local community transmission of the Omicron variant.

“Well, our whole-genome sequencing results cannot provide us with that kind of detail, no? To say if there are links or if there are a lot of Omicron already in the community,” she said.

“Pero simula’t simula, last week pa lang nagsasabi na tayo, na ang kagawaran ng kalusugan, pati ang ating mga eksperto nagsasabi, high likelihood na po na ang Omicron ay nasa ating mga komunidad na,” she added.

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