DOH verifying report of alleged PH passenger to HK afflicted with new COVID-19 variant

The Department of Health (DOH) said it is now coordinating with Hong Kong authorities after the latter reported that a passenger from the Philippines tested positive with the new variant of COVID-19 virus.

Department of Health (DOH) (MANILA BULLETIN)
Department of Health (DOH) (MANILA BULLETIN)

“We have initiated coordination already with the IHR (International Health Regulations) Focal Point in HK (Hong Kong) to request further details,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“Also retrieving the flight manifest for the identified flight. We will be informing as soon as we get complete information,” she added.

In a report from Asia Times, Hong Kong officials bared that they detected the presence of the new coronavirus variant from a passenger from the Philippines who arrived in Hong Kong last December 22.

The DOH earlier said that the Philippine Genome Center is currently conducting a study to determine whether or not the new variant is already present in the country.

The new COVID-19 virus variant, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, was said to be more transmissible.

“Current evidence suggests 70 percent higher transmissibility o mas mabilis na panghahawa nito ,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III during a recent press briefing.

The Philippine government imposed travel restrictions to 20 countries to avoid the new variant of COVID-19 virus from reaching the country.