DOH: Filipino passenger to HK with new COVID strain came from Cagayan Valley

Published January 7, 2021, 10:31 AM

by Analou de Vera

The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed that the passenger who tested positive for the new COVID-19 virus variant in Hong Kong is a Filipino national who came from the Cagayan Valley region.

(Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Yes, the HK (Hong Kong) case is a Filipina domestic helper,” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters on Thursday. 

Citing a report from the Hong Kong International Health Regulations National Focal Point and the DOH Centers for Health Development, the DOH said that the 30-year-old Filipina left Cagayan Valley on December 17.

On December 18, she arrived in Metro Manila and “underwent quarantine as per their workplace protocol.” She was tested for COVID-19 using the RT-PCR method on December 19 and “yielded a negative result.”

“The case left for Hong Kong on December 22, 2020 where she underwent quarantine upon arrival. On January 2, 2021, she underwent RT-PCR testing again where the swabs tested positive and detected to also be positive for the UK variant. She remains in isolation and in stable condition,” the DOH said.

The Health department said that contact tracing is now being conducted on the co-passengers of the 30-year-old Filipina. On Wednesday, January 6, Vergeire said that the 30-year-old Filipina boarded the Philippine Airlines Flight PR300 and there were 40 passengers on that flight.

“Contact tracing efforts are underway. The flight manifest has been obtained and the tracing of passengers is being conducted while we await updates on the contact tracing efforts done in Hong Kong. There is also ongoing contact tracing by the concerned epidemiology and surveillance units in Cagayan Valley Region and NCR (National Capital Region),” the DOH said.

“They have been instructed to ensure strict quarantine of identified close contacts and for samples collected from said contacts to be sent for confirmatory testing, and, if samples test positive, subsequent whole genome sequencing,” it added.

 
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