Returning Batanes resident dies from COVID-19; fellow plane passengers quarantined
ITBAYAT, Batanes––An 80-year-old man returning to this town died Sunday, Jan. 16, after testing positive for COVID-19, raising the number of deaths in this province to six.
The man flew to Batanes on a Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight from Manila on Jan. 15.
“He was buried immediately, according to protocols in managing deaths during the pandemic,” Dr. Allan M. Sande, provincial health officer, told the Inquirer.
Asked if the man was infected with the highly transmissible Omicron variant, Sande said: “Usually, the genomic test results to confirm this takes weeks to come out. However, we can assume it because this is already the predominant variant in Manila, where he came from.”
Sande said about 90 passengers of the same inbound PAL flight from Manila have started to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine in keeping with the Batanes Inter-Agency Task Force health cluster agreements to combat and isolate the Omicron contagion.
A vigorous booster vaccination drive was launched starting Monday, he said.
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