QC gov’t: No lockdown in Kamuning amid 1st case of UK Covid-19 variant
MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City mayor Joy Belmonte said Thursday there is no need to lock down Kamuning after one of its residents became the first known carrier of the coronavirus variant from the United Kingdom.
In a statement, Belmonte stressed that the patient, a 29-year-old male who returned to the country from Dubai on January 7 has not set foot in Kamuning as he was immediately isolated upon return to the country as a protocol for inbound passengers.
“There is no need to lockdown Kamuning or any parts of it as the patient did not even set foot in the community upon his arrival, nor did he meet his family,” Belmonte said.
She explained that the QC government only imposes lockdowns or in case of clustering of cases in a specific area that may be indicative of community transmission.
“Since he did not go home, there is clearly no reason why we should impose any lockdown,” Belmonte said.
After the Department of Health (DOH) announced the detection of the UK variant, the QC mayor bared that some Kamuning residents experienced discrimination with some being told not to report for work by their employers.
It remains unclear where the said Filipino got infected with the UK variant which is believed to be more infectious than the original variant of Covid-19. But in a statement Wednesday night following DOH’s announcement, the QC government said the “patient and his companion tested negative before leaving the Philippines and tested negative as well upon arrival in Dubai.”
The UK variant, known as BC117, is associated with a higher viral load, meaning a greater concentration of virus particles in patients’ bodies, possibly contributing to increased transmission. Experts, however, said no evidence yet suggests that it is more deadly.
If the UK variant becomes the dominant specie in the Philippines, the country’s COVID-19 caseload may increase by 15 fold, a local disease expert earlier warned.
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