THE Philippines has reported an additional 492 new cases of the highly-infectious Omicron variant of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), including the first two deaths from the strain, according to the Department of Health.

The detections were part of the 715 samples that were sequenced by the Philippine Genome Center on January 13 and 14.

Of the new detections 332 were local infections and 160 were from returning overseas Filipinos

Local infections of Omicron were the highest in the National Capital Region with 227 cases, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) with 76 cases and Central Luzon with 11 cases.

Other regions with reported Omicron infections include Central Visayas, Cagayan Valley, Western Visyas, Davao, Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos), Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos, Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), and the Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Aside from the two fatalities, three remain as active cases, 467 have been tagged as recovered and 20 have yet to be determined.

Total overall Omicron cases in the country are now at 535.

Meanwhile, of the 115 Delta cases. 88 are local infections and 27 were returning overseas Filipinos.

As to the status, two have died, two remain active, 107 have recovered and four are still being verified.

Despite the increasing detections of Omicron, Delta remains the top variant sequenced in the country, with 8,612 detections.