43 omicron, 21 delta identified in CNMI

226 new Covid cases reported


By Pacific Island Times News Staff


Saipan-- The CNMI government today reported that of 64 samples sequenced in the batch sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Jan. 12, 43 were identified as omicron variant and 21 as delta variant.


One of the 43 omicron samples was identified as the BA.2 subvariant. The samples in this batch were collected from Dec. 20, 2021 to Jan. 10. "As the omicron subvariant BA.2 continues to spread globally at a rapid rate, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force reiterate that the CNMI is equipped to fight omicron and its subvariants," CNMI officials said. The CNMI also reported 226 new positive cases, bringing the CNMI's Covid-19 total to 8,153 cases since March 26, 2020. The individuals have been isolated and are actively monitored.


As of Feb. 17, 2022, there were 11 individuals hospitalized as a result of COVID-19: three are unvaccinated, eight are vaccinated. One is on a ventilator

Of the 226 cases, 11 were identified on Tinian

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"The CHCC regularly communicates with the CDC and sends COVID-19 specimens to the CDC for genetic sequencing. As of Feb. 12 the omicron subvariant BA.2 accounted for 3.9 percent of the total cases of COVID-19 sequenced in the U.S," the CNMI government stated in a press release. According to the World HealthOrganization, preliminary data suggest that omicron BA.2 is more transmissible than the original omicron variant.


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Although there is currently no indication to suggest that there is a difference in the severity of BA.2 compared to the original variant, some people may still have severe disease, need hospitalization, and could die from the infection with this subvariant. Even if only a small percentage of people with omicron infection need hospitalization, the large volume of cases could overwhelm the health care system. Persons infected with the omicron variant can show symptoms similar to previous variants. The severity of symptoms can be affected by Covid-19 vaccination status, other health conditions, age, and history of prior infection.


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