DOH seeks NBI help to locate UK variant case from Cebu
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to track down the 35-year-old resident of Liloan, Cebu, who has tested positive for the UK variant of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Wednesday that DOH has tapped NBI to confirm if the patient has indeed left the country.
“We have sought the help already of the National Bureau of Investigation para mas matunton po natin kung talagang wala na sa ating bansa itong individual na ito, and also the manifest from the airlines kung saan nagsabi sila ng specific na paglabas na date of exit nitong tao from Liloan, Cebu,” she said in an online press briefing.
(We have sought the help of the NBI to locate him and confirm if he has indeed left the country. We are also looking at the flight manifest from the airlines that stated the specific date of exit of this patient from Liloan, Cebu.)
In a statement on February 5, DOH said the patient is “tagged as an active case with mild disease and is currently being managed,” and that his exposure and travel history are being verified.
DOH-Central Visayas later clarified that the home address of the patient is Liloan but he had stayed in Parañaque City since November last year until he went through a swab test in January as a requirement for a job abroad. The regional office of the health agency said he has not been able to return to his hometown.
Vergeire also later said that the patient has apparently left the country.
The case from Liloan is among the 25 locally confirmed cases of the more transmissible B.1.1.7. variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19. DOH earlier said that 22 of the patients have already recovered while one has died and two others remain as active cases.
Vergeire said intensive Covid-19 testing, isolation, and contact tracing is being done for the cluster of cases in Bontoc, Mountain Province, and in La Trinidad, Benguet, where infection to the virus variant was previously reported.
There are over 700 samples of Covid-19 positive patients that are being subjected to genome sequencing this week to determine if the patients are infected with other variants of the new coronavirus, according to Vergeire.
She said most of the specimens submitted for genome sequencing this week are from Metro Manila, Central Visayas, Calabarzon, and Cordillera Administrative Region.
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