242 travelers test positive for coronavirus in November — PGC

FILE PHOTO: Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (red) infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (yellow), also known as novel coronavirus, isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH/Handout via REUTERS.

MANILA, Philippines — Some 242 travelers who arrived in the Philippines in November have tested positive for coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) said Saturday, citing information from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).

“Tinatanong ko doon sa ating mga kasamahan sa BOQ at sa Epidemiology Bureau kung ilan na ba talaga ang nagpositive ngayong November. Ang naibigay po sa amin na numero is 242 [ang] nagpositive sa kanila,” PGC executive director Dr. Cynthia Saloma said at the Laging Handa public briefing.

(I asked our colleagues at the BOQ and Epidemiology Bureau how many have tested positive this November. They told us there were 242.)

“Hinahanap pa po at nakikipag-ugnayan ang ating DOH and Epidemiology Bureau sa mga laboratory sa airport kung saan sila ang gumawa ng test at kung maaari po ibigay na nila ito sa PGC dahil mayroon naman tayong sufficient kits,” she added.

(They are being traced and the DOH and its Epidemiology Bureau is coordinating with airport laboratories that conducted the test to submit the positive samples to PCG. We have sufficient kits.)

Saloma said their samples will only be processed for genome sequencing if the samples’ cycle threshold value is less than 30, which indicates a high viral load.

But according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the DOH is still consolidating data through “backtracing” and submissions from BOQ.

“What we have as complete data right now are individuals from South Africa where we have a total of 253,” she said, referring to travelers from the African country who arrived in the Philippines from November 15 to 29.

“These are 253 individuals kung saan 165 na passengers are under verification process, 80 na po ang nakontact natin out of these individuals. Mayroon po tayong eight na still to be located,” said Vergeire.

(These are the 253 individuals that include 165 passengers under the verification process. Eighty of them have been contacted. We are still trying to locate eight others.)

Vergeire added that 72 of the 80 contacted travelers are currently undergoing facility-based quarantine, while three are under home quarantine, and five have already been discharged after completing the 14-day isolation. Retesting is still being done for some of the other travelers.

The government earlier suspended Inbound flights from South Africa and 13 other countries from November 28 to December 15 due to the threat of the Omicron variant.


PH’s Bureau of Quarantine now tracing 182 travelers from South Africa 

3 travelers from S. Africa, Burkina Faso, Egypt test positive for COVID-19 


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