Most of co-passengers of COVID-infected traveler traced

Published January 15, 2021, 3:23 PM

by Analou de Vera

The DOH said it was already able to contact 92 percent of the co-passengers of the 29-year-old Filipino who tested positive for the new COVID-19 virus variant.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that there were 159 passengers onboard Emirates flight EK 332 on January 7, excluding the male patient.

Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire
Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Out of the 159, we were already able to coordinate with 146 of them. So, 92 percent po iyan [So, that’s 92 percent],” said Vergeire.

The DOH spokesperson said that the 13 others are not responding to their calls. “Siguro patay ang telepono or mali ang ibinigay na telepono [Maybe their phone is off or they provided the wrong contact information],” she said.

“So, doon sa 146, meron na tayong 125 na may positive na na aksyon tayong ginawa [Of the 146, we have made positive actions on the 125] because they were able to continuously coordinate with us,” she said.

“Just for the information of everybody, lahat po sila (125) ay na swab [all of them have undergone swab tests],” she said.

Vergeire said that some of the passengers are now undergoing quarantine in the isolation facilities of their respective local government units, while some were allowed to go home quarantine because they met the criteria for such type of isolation.

Meanwhile, Vergeire called on the other non-cooperative passengers to coordinate with the authorities.

“We have a law RA 11332 (Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act) and within this law stated iyan sa mga provisions na kapag may public health emergency, you need to cooperate with government whether it be for quarantine, for isolation, for contact tracing, for testing,” she said.

“Kapag ang isang tao hindi po sya nakipag-cooperate sa gobyerno, maari po tayong magkaroon ng mga sanctions [If a person does not cooperate with the government, they could face sanctions],” she added.

Based on the said provision of the law, any person or entity found to have committed prohibited acts “shall be penalized with a fine of not less than P20,000 but not more than P50,000 or imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six month, or both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the proper court.”