Returning Ilocos Norte resident tests positive for UK coronavirus variant
LAOAG CITY—Health authorities on Sunday confirmed that a returning Ilocos Norte resident from Bahrain has tested positive for the more contagious UK variant of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
According to the report from authorities manning the Ilocos Norte border in Badoc town, the patient arrived in Ilocos Norte on Feb. 8.
The returning resident was from Pasuquin town, and it was not immediately known when the patient arrived in the country from Bahrain.
Dr. Rina Corpuz, Ilocos Norte provincial quarantine consultant, told the Inquirer that the patient was a “confirmed recovered case [of Covid-19] and has completed the 14-day facility quarantine in Metro Manila” before travelling to Ilocos Norte.
While quarantined in Metro Manila, a specimen was collected from the patient which was also used to test for the more infectious UK variant of SARS Cov2, called B.1.1.7, said Corpuz.
A genome result from the Philippine Genome Center which was belatedly received by health authorities of the province confirmed that the UK variant was detected from the patient, according to Corpuz.
Despite completing the mandatory quarantine at a facility in Metro Manila, the patient was still required to be isolated at a quarantine facility here upon arrival in the province, said Corpuz.
Dr. Norman Rabago, Ilocos Norte provincial consultant for Covid-19, said that the patient displayed no symptoms of the disease.
Rabago said that the two reported primary contacts of the patient who were also from Pasuquin town would still need to undergo a confirmatory testing on Feb. 16 to see if they are positive for the UK variant.
The Department of Health (DOH) already ordered for the conduct of a contact tracing to determine all individuals who were possibly exposed from the primary contacts of the patient, said Corpuz.
The local government of Badoc released a public advisory urging all individuals who ate at an eatery located at the town’s border on Feb. 9 until Feb. 14 to immediately report to health authorities in the province for contact tracing.
“They are all considered as third-generation contacts of the Covid-19 UK variant positive patient from Pasuquin,” the advisory read on Sunday.
It also stated that all customers of the eatery during the period indicated will be required to take a swab test and go on mandatory quarantine.
The Inquirer reached out to the DOH in Ilocos Norte but has yet to receive a comment.
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