DOH wants Covid-19 repeat tests for inbound passengers 5 days after arrival
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has recommended to the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) the conduct of repeat Covid-19 tests for inbound passengers five days after arrival in the country.
This is after some contacts of the 29-year-old Filipino who tested positive for the Covid-19 variant that was first detected in the United Kingdom, initially tested negative for the viral illness but later on yielded positive test results after re-swabbing.
“We already have recommended to the technical working group of the IATF na pagdating ng ating mga kababayan from any country, kailangan iyong testing nila but we have to repeat the testing on the fifth day after they have arrived before we release them to LGUs (local government units),” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Thursday in a televised Laging Handa Public Briefing.
“Sa ganitong paraan maaari po nating makita and appropriate po ang timing ng testing, we can be more certain kung talagang negatibo o positibo itong ating pasyente,” she added.
The UK variant patient traveled to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates on a business trip for a few days, then returned to Manila on Jan. 7 via Emirates Flight EK 332. Upon his return, he tested positive for Covid-19 and was later found to have contracted the new UK variant.
Authorities have identified a total of 213 contacts of the patient including his co-passengers and family members—13 of whom have tested positive for Covid-19. Their samples were sent to the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) for sequencing to determine if they also have the UK variant.
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