Webinar #81 | “WHAT’S NEW? NANDITO NA BA ANG OMICRON: Updates on COVID-19 Clinical Management”

The University of the Philippines
in partnership with UP Manila NIH National Telehealth Center
and in cooperation with UP Philippine General Hospital
would like to invite you to join the Fight Against COVID-19!

Webinar #81 “WHAT’S NEW? NANDITO NA BA ANG OMICRON: Updates on COVID-19 Clinical Management”
December 3, 2021 (Friday) 12nn

Dr. Franco Felizarta
Infectious Disease and Internal Medicine Specialist
UP Medical Alumni Society in America (UPMASA)

Dr. Jubert Benedicto
Head, CCU-Management Action Team
Philippine General Hospital

Dr. Maria Virginia S. Abalos
Practicing OB-Gyn Specialist and Medical Director
Chong Hua Hospital
Cebu City

Dr. Teodoro J. Herbosa
Special Adviser
National Task Force Against COVID-19

Opening Remarks:
Dr. Benito P. Atienza
Philippine Medical Association

Synthesis and Closing Remarks:
Dr. Stella Marie L. Jose
Deputy Director, Health Operations
Philippine General Hospital

Webinar #81 “WHAT’S NEW? NANDITO NA BA ANG OMICRON: Updates on COVID-19 Clinical Management”
Special Topic

On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization called for an urgent meeting to discuss the possibility of a new variant of concern (VOC) from genetic sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 that had multiple mutations on the spike protein–first reported in Botswana and later allegedly responsible for a steep rise in cases in South Africa.

Within a few days, the World Health Organization declared the new variant as a variant of concern, and named it “Omicron” – further sparking tension around the world, but warning against travel bans and closing of borders. Despite this, countries around the world started banning travellers from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. At the moment of writing, travel restrictions and closing of borders for these countries have been issued by the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Thailand, Oman, Sri Lanka, and Brazil. Some countries, like Japan, are requiring a 10-day quarantine for travellers from southern African countries. Some countries, Israel, has issued the strictest border control with no travel allowed into the country for 14 days.

WHO in Africa and the African states are outraged by these bans, claiming that the reason for this mutation is vaccine inequity and the low prioritization given to Africa for vaccines against SARS-CoV-2.

Omicron has been reported in Belgium, Italy, Germany, and Hong Kong.

Not a lot is known about Omicron. However, there are strong indications that it is highly contagious compared to the Delta variant. Anecdotal reports refer to it occurring in younger patients. Currently there is no data to prove that it is more severe or resistant to the current vaccines. Thus far, it can be tested using RT PRC.

Despite the sparce information on Omicron and the planned discussion for December 3 – is updates on clinical management of COVID-19, the Stop COVID Deaths Webinar series has decided to cover this story, even as events unfold and will start its discussion with a conversation about what these developments mean for the Philippines — and will then proceed to discussions on clinical management. Discussants include Dr. Franco Felizarta, Infectious Disease Specialist from the UP Medical Alumni Society in America (UPMASA), Dr. Jubert Benedicto, Head of the CCU-Management Action Team of the Philippine General Hospital, Dr. Jean Abalos, Obstetrician-Gynecologist Infectious Disease Expert and Medical Director of Chong Hua Hospital, Dr. Benny Atienza, the President of the Philippine Medical Association and Dr. Ted Herbosa, Special Adviser to the National Task Force Against COVID-19.

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About The Author
- TVUP is an Internet television (webcast) network operated by the University of the Philippines which delivers free content for information and educational purposes.