Thirteen persons who came in contact with the country’s first case of the United Kingdom variant of coronavirus have tested positive for COVID-19, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday.
The swab samples that were taken from the 13 individuals were already sent to the Philippine Genome Center to determine if they were also infected with the UK variant of the COVID-19 virus, said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
Of the 13, ten persons who were also onboard the Emirates Flight EK 332— which had carried the 29-year-old Filipino who was found to have contracted the UK variant.
Vergeire said that the mother and girlfriend of the 29-year-old Filipino also tested positive for COVID-19. The DOH also added that “a healthcare worker from Quezon City who attended to the index case” also tested positive for the viral illness.
“Doon sa mga na-test ang lumabas na positive: yung nanay, girlfriend, at saka yung isang close contact… so that’s additional three from the initial na 8 na pasahero. So that’s 11 [Those who were tested and were found positive include: the mother, girlfriend, and then a close contact … so that’s additional three from the initial 8 passengers. So that’s 11] ,” the DOH spokesperson said.
Vergeire said that there were a total of 159 passengers on the Emirates flight. Of these, 153 were already traced and are now isolated. She said that they are still tracing the whereabouts of the six other passengers.
She also added that the the 29-year-old Filipino, who is the country’s first UK variant case is in stable condition.
“Ang kanyang status ngayon, siya ay he remains to be stable malapit na rin matapos ang kanyang isolation period [His current status, he remains to be stable and he is about to complete his (mandatory) isolation period],” said Vergeire.