DOH: Case of Filipina in HK with virus variant considered ‘closed’
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) said the case of a Filipino domestic helper in Hong Kong who has been found to have a more infectious type of SARS-CoV-2 is considered closed since all of her close contacts in the Philippines have tested negative for the new variant.
In an online press briefing on Friday, DOH undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said all close contacts of the domestic helper in Cagayan and Metro Manila tested positive for Covid-19 but have yielded negative results for the UK variant after a genome sequencing.
“Lahat po ng ginenome sequence natin na close contacts ng Filipina domestic helper in Hong Kong, lahat po ay negatibo dito sa (All who have undergone genome sequencing have tested negative for the) UK variant that is why the case is closed already,” she said.
However, Vergeire said it is still unclear whether the Filipina contracted the virus variant in the Philippines or Hong Kong.
“Hindi sigurado because we were not really able to test everybody. Hindi naman natin na-test lahat even those who had been with her in the flight [who are now in Hong Kong],” she added.
(It is still uncertain because we were not able to test everybody. We have not been able to test those who had been with her on the flight.)
The overseas Filipino worker tested positive for the B.1.1.7. variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, when she arrived in Hong Kong from Manila in December.
Despite calling the case of infection “closed,” Vergeire said appropriate safeguards were set in place when Hong Kong authorities reported the detection of the new coronavirus variant from the woman.
“We quarantined all of these close contacts completely for 14 days. They were monitored properly. ‘Yun po ang safeguard natin na kung sakaling hindi man at nalusutan tayo na meron talaga palang variant among these people, we were able to quarantine them at nakarecover na po sila,” she said.
(We quarantined all of these close contacts completely for 14 days. They were monitored properly. Those are the safeguards we did, that even if it is true that the variant was present in her close contacts, we were able to quarantine them and they have already recovered.)
The Philippines has so far recorded 17 confirmed cases of infection to the B.1.1.7. variant of the new coronavirus.
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