GenSan residents warned as UK coronavirus variant detected in city
GENERAL SANTOS CITY—Authorities here have advised residents to be more cautious after a case of COVID-19 caused by the UK variant of SARS Cov2, the coronavirus that causes the disease, was detected.
The UK variant was believed by experts to be up to 70 percent more contagious but not deadlier.
Mayor Ronnel Rivera said the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) of the University of the Philippines confirmed on Monday (April 12) that the virus, which infected a 58-year-old male resident, resembled the UK variant, or B.1.117.
The man was exposed to the wife of a COVID-19 patient in Calapan City in Oriental Mindoro, Rivera added.
The mayor, however, did not elaborate why the person, a resident of San Isidro village in this city, was in Calapan.
Rivera said the man managed to reenter the city because he was considered as an authorized person outside of residence.
Under new regulations, such persons are required to present only their IDs, travel order and itinerary and pass symptom screening at ports of entry or exit.
Local health officials said the man and his family are already in isolation and contact tracing is ongoing.
As COVID-19 cases surge in many parts of the country, the city government has reimposed tighter restrictions, practically closing its borders to travellers from the virus hotspot National Capital Region, Cebu and areas which continue to have high risks of virus infections.
Travellers from these areas must present a negative coronavirus test results.
The city, as of April 12, has 83 active cases.
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