DOH, PGC Confirm Detection Of UK COVID-19 Variant In PH

DOH and PGC confirmed the detection of the UK COVID-19 variant in the Philippines

Following border control and strengthened biosurveillance efforts, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) on Wednesday confirmed the detection of the UK COVID-19 variant (B.1.1.7. SARS-CoV-2 variant) in the Philippines.

This, after swab samples from a Filipino who arrived in the country from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last January 7, 2021, yielded “positive” genome sequencing results.

DOH PGC UK Variant

In a press release, the Department of Health stated that the said patient was a male resident of Quezon City who departed for Dubai for business purposes on December 27, 2020.

He arrived in the country last January 7, 2021 through Emirates Flight No. EK 332 and he was swabbed and quarantined in a hotel upon arrival.

In addition, the “positive” test result was released the following day and the said patient was referred to a quarantine facility in Quezon City while his swab samples were sent to the Philippine Genome Center for “whole genome sequencing”.

The said patient was also accompanied by his female partner during his trip. However, his partner currently under strict quarantine and monitoring even though she had tested “negative” for SARS-CoV-2 upon arrival.

Both of the returning Filipinos, according to DOH, had no exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case prior to their departure to Dubai nor had any travel activities outside Quezon City.

READ ALSO: DOH To Check Hong Kong Flight Manifest After Passenger From PH Found To Have New COVID-19 Variant

According to DOH, an immediate contact tracing was done in close coordination with the Quezon City government and the initially-identified contacts were asymptomatic and currently under strict home quarantine.

The Department of Health continued to work closely with the Quezon City government to ensure that timely and effective measures were in place in order to mitigate the transmission.

Moreover, the Department of Health had also secured the flight manifest of the flight in question and advised those who were aboard Emirates Flight No. EK 332 to reach out to their Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs).

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