DOH reports 8 new cases of UK COVID-19 variant

Published February 5, 2021, 9:00 PM

by Analou de Vera

Eight additional cases of the B.1.1.7 or the United Kingdom variant of the COVID-19 virus have been detected, bringing the total number of cases in the Philippines to 25, the Department of Health (DOH) announced on Friday, Feb. 5.


The DOH said that three of the new cases were from Bontoc, Mountain Province.

“Of the 3 cases, two females aged 25 and 54 were identified as close contacts of a previously reported B.1.1.7 variant case who is part of the Bontoc cluster.The third case is a 31-year-old male whose link to the Bontoc cluster is still being verified. To date, the 54-year-old female has already recovered, while the remaining two are active cases and are currently being managed,” the DOH said.

Two more cases of the more transmissible variant of coronavirus were detected in La Trinidad, Benguet.

“One of the two cases is a 15-year-old female and relative of the previously identified B.1.1.7 variant case in La Trinidad. She is currently asymptomatic and in isolation as part of the management of contacts of the first B.1.1.7 variant case identified in La Trinidad,” the DOH said.

“The other case is an 84-year-old male who had no known history of travel nor contact with any B.1.1.7 variant case and is part of a separate cluster of cases in the city. The said case was recorded to have died last January 24, 2021,” it added.

Moreover, two returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) also tested positive for the UK variant of COVID-19 virus.

“The first ROF is a 29-year-old female who arrived from UAE (United Arab Emirates) on Jan. 7, 2021 aboard Philippine Airlines flight PR 659. Meanwhile, the second ROF is a 54-year-old male with a reported local address in Talisay, Cebu. Both ROF cases have already recovered,” the DOH said.

Meanwhile, the other new case  is a 35-year-old man from Liloan, Cebu whose swab sample was collected last Jan.17, the DOH said.

“He is tagged as an active case with mild disease and is currently being managed. The exposure and travel history of this case is also being verified,” the DOH said.

The DOH also noted that “no other variant of concern has been detected.”  Last January 8, the health department said that it is also keeping an eye on two other variants of COVID-19 virus: the South African and Malaysian variants.

“The Department of Health, through its Centers for Health Development, together with the concerned local government units, shall conduct immediate case investigation and intensified contact tracing and back tracing to identify the sources of infection for the cases with no known link to previously reported B.1.1.7 variant cases,” it said.

“Biosurveillance activities shall likewise be sustained and the succeeding whole genome sequencing activities are expected to determine the extent of transmission in areas where B.1.1.7 variant cases have been detected and to provide better representation from all regions,” it added.