South African variant of COVID-19 detected in Pampanga
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO –– A case of the South African variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been detected in Minalin town, Pampanga province Thursday.
Minalin Mayor Edgar Flores said the virus has infected a 36-year-old woman who returned from Dubai last February.
The patient was the first known South African variant case in the province.
She did not go home under the Balik Pampanga program for returning Filipinos, which means that the swabbing, quarantine, and medical clearance were done and issued by national agencies.
The woman would be brought to an isolation facility in New Clark City, according to Dr. Dax Tidula, COVID-19 incidents chief of the provincial government.
The South African variant, named after the country where it was first detected, is more contagious and could reportedly make vaccines less effective.
But the case of the Pampanga woman raised several questions from Gov. Dennis Pineda since the patient was discharged from a quarantine facility in Metro Manila.
It was during the genome sequencing process of random samples that the South African variant was found in her, the governor added.
“If she had the variant, why was it not detected during the RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test? If she belonged to a group from where a random sampling would be done, why was she instructed to go home when the safest thing to do was hold her in the meantime for purposes of another test?” Pineda asked.
People who came in contact with the woman had been identified and due for tests, Pineda told the Inquirer. INQ
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