Zamboanga del Sur records 1st case of COVID-19 ‘UK variant’
PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur –– Health authorities in Zamboanga del Sur have said that a resident in Labangan town was confirmed to have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant that was first detected in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Anatalio Cagampang Jr., provincial health officer, said the patient is a 38-year-old woman who worked in Kuwait and had just returned home.
The patient had already recovered from COVID-19, although the genome sequencing result was known only on March 15.
The patient arrived in Manila on Feb. 14 and went on a weeklong quarantine. He was swabbed for a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test on Feb. 20 and was found positive for COVID-19 the following day.
Cagampang explained that because the patient came from another country, her COVID-19 result underwent genome sequencing.
While waiting for the genome sequencing result, according to Cagampang, the patient experienced fever, sore throat, loss of taste and smell, and muscle pains, hence had to undergo another 10-day quarantine.
After being cleared of the infection, she traveled home to Zamboanga del Sur via Cagayan de Oro on March 3 and has been on strict home quarantine under the supervision of local authorities.
However, the result of the genome sequencing that showed the patient to have the UK variant, arrived only on March 15.
The patient and her whole family and close contacts are now under quarantine and are being monitored for possible delayed transmission of the virus, Cagampang said.
In Lanao del Norte, Dr. David Mendoza of the Department of Health’s Northern Mindanao regional office said a resident of Lala town, who just returned from his work in Dubai, was found to have the same COVID-19 variant.
The overseas worker arrived in Cebu City from Dubai on Feb. 9. While in isolation, he was swabbed on Feb. 14 and found to have coronavirus. By Feb. 24, he was cleared of the infection.
On March 2, he traveled home on a boat from Cebu to Ozamiz City.
The result of genome sequencing on his swab sample was received only on March 6, sending him to an isolation facility in Kolambugan town.
With reports from Richel V. Umel
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