The DOH was verifying the COVID-19 test results of 13 co-passengers.
On Wednesday, the Department of Health (DOH) said that it was verifying the COVID-19 test results of 13 co-passengers of a seafarer who had tested positive for the B.1.617 (also known as the “double mutant”) COVID-19 variant first detected in India.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told CNN Philippines that 13 travelers were on the same flight with the 37-year-old male who arrived in the Philippines from Oman last April 10.
According to Vergeire, the COVID-19 case was one of two returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) found to have the said variant.
“‘Yun po ang tinitingnan natin sa ngayon. Meron po tayong 13 pasahero na tinitingnan at bine-verify po natin kung ano ‘yung mga naging resulta ng kanilang mga RT-PCR when they arrived here,” Vergeire said.
Vergeire said in a separate interview with Super Radyo dzBB that the 37-year-old seafarer originally came from Belgium and took a flight to Oman to get to the Philippines.
As for the other case of B.1.617 variant, a 58-year-old male from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the health official said that the Department of Health was still working to get the flight manifest.
Meanwhile, Vergeire said that two out of the five travelers from India who had tested positive for COVID-19 last week have already recovered, adding that the remaining three were still in isolation.
According to Vergeire, two samples from the same group had been subjected to genome sequencing but neither tested positive for a “variant of concern (VOC)”.
All travelers who came from India, or those who had tested positive for the B.1.617 variant entered the Philippines prior to the implementation of a travel ban on April 29.