7 co-passengers of UK variant patient yet to be located — DOH
MANILA, Philippines — Authorities have yet to locate the remaining seven passengers of Emirates Flight EK 332 that carried the 29-year-old Filipino patient who tested positive for the more infectious United Kingdom variant of COVID-19, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that of the 159 passengers of the flight, excluding the patient, a total of 152 have already been located by the contact tracing teams.
“In a matter of days, we were able to contact all of them except for seven persons, na talagang ‘yung address and even the contact number ay hindi talaga namin mahanap. So we were able to do 152 and they were all swabbed in a matter of days,” she said in an online media forum.
(In a matter of days, we were able to contact all of them except for seven persons who cannot be contacted or found through the address and contact numbers they provided. So we were able to contact 152 of them and they all went through swab testing in a matter of days.)
The passengers who have been contacted by authorities are already undergoing quarantine, according to Vergeire.
Vergeire also said the DOH is coordinating with Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the country’s contact tracing czar, for an “expanded” contact tracing effort for the seven passengers.
The DOH earlier said that the Filipino patient who tested positive for the new Covid-19 variant first detected in the United Kingdom flew from the United Arab Emirates and arrived in the Philippines last January 7.
Vergeire explained that passengers from the flight were not immediately quarantined in government facilities since at the time of their arrival to the Philippines, the UAE was not yet in the list of counties with travel restrictions in the Philippines.
“During that time ang UAE or Dubai, hindi pa sila kasama sa restriction. Lahat ng pasahero nyan noong dumating sila dito, they were complying with the usual protocol na kapag ikaw ay nagtest negative, you can be allowed to go home and do your quarantine at home,” she said.
(During that time, UAE is not yet included in the list of counties with travel restrictions. All of the passengers who arrived complied to the usual protocol, which provides that if they test negative to the virus, they will be allowed to go home and have their quarantine at home.)
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.