DOH: 38 close contacts of UK variant patients positive for SARS-CoV-2
MANILA, Philippines — Thirty-eight close contacts of patients infected with the UK virus variant in Bontoc, Mountain Province, and La Trinidad, Benguet, have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire disclosed this information on Monday, adding that 144 close contacts of the 12 patients in Bontoc were already identified but “not positive for the UK variant.”
“Dito sa contact tracing na ito, meron tayong nakita na additional na 34 positive pa but they were not positive for the UK variant,” she said in an online press briefing.
(In this contact tracing effort, there are 34 patients who tested positive but were not positive for the UK variant.)
But in a Viber message to reporters, Vergeire clarified that of the 34 close contacts with Covid-19, six have already tested negative for the UK variant, while the remaining 28 are awaiting genome sequencing result to determine if they also have the new variant of the virus.
Vergeire also said the 144 individuals were from the first and second generation close contacts of the 12 patients. She said the coverage of the contact tracing effort is still being expanded.
As for the person infected with the UK variant in La Trinidad, Benguet, Vergeire said 97 individuals from the first and second generation of the patient’s close contacts have already been identified.
“Dito naka-identify tayo na meron nang nagpositibo na kasama niya sa loob ng bahay: nanay, tatay, kapatid, at lola. Apat ang nagpositibo sa close contacts niya and the rest, negatibo po sila,”
(We identified four contacts who tested positive: the patient’s mother, father, sibling, and grandmother. Four of the contacts tested positive and the rest tested negative.)
DOH was still awaiting the result of the genome sequencing for the specimen of the four close contacts who tested positive for the new coronavirus.
“As to the two ROFs (returning overseas Filipinos) from Lebanon, ‘yung taga-Iloilo at Binangonan, na-locate na ‘yung taga-Iloilo. ‘Yung taga-Binangonan po, vine-verify pa rin po ng regional office namin, and ‘yung sa Calamba, Laguna, they are currently doing initial investigation,” Vergeire further said.(As to the two ROFs from Lebanon, the one from Iloilo and Binangona, the one from Iloilo has been located. The one from Binangonan is still being verified by the regional office. Authorities are doing initial investigation for the patient in Calamba, Laguna.)
So far, 17 individuals in the Philippines have been confirmed infected with the UK variant of SARS-CoV-2: the 29-year-old male patient in Quezon City, who was the first person in the country detected to have the variant, and 16 others reported by DOH last Friday.
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