By Zea C. Capistrano and Antonio I. Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed three individuals in Davao Region, one of whom from Davao City, came out positive for the more infectious coronavirus disease (COVID-19) UK variant, known as B.1.1.7.
The agency said, in a statement, that a 10-year old male, a 54-year old female, and a 33-year old female from the region are among the 19 additional cases who are infected with the new variant, which brought the total to 44 in the county as of Friday.
It added that the three patients, who are active cases with mild symptoms, do not have any known link to each other.
But Dr. Ashley Lopez, acting head of the City Health Office, confirmed that one of them is in Davao City.
“No further comments as of now. We are still conducting bio-surveillance,” he said.
The provincial government of Davao De Oro announced Saturday night (Feb. 13) that two of the three coronavirus disease (COVID-19) positive patients, the 33-year-old and 54-year-old females are residents of the province.
“The two confirmed to have no known link (to) each other and have been under strict isolation since their swab test results came out positive earlier this month,” it said.
“We are also currently doubling our efforts in tracing their close contacts up to the third degree (F3 close contacts) and placing them under quarantine,” it added.
The provincial government’s Emergency Operations Command (EOC) in a statement to the media said the two were COVID-19 positive this January. The EOC has yet to release the date when the two tested positive for COVID-19.
The EOC said the patient from New Bataan already tested negative in the latest swab test. The patient stayed for more than 21 days in the quarantine facility and is now under home quarantine.
However, the EOC said the DOH has advised to place the patient under monitoring in the quarantine facility.
Meanwhile, the patient from Compostela tested positive in his latest swab test, the EOC said. The patient was also in the quarantine facility for more than 21 days.
The EOC added that both patients are asymptomatic and that they were not returning OFWs (ROF). “
They have no travel history in places with confirmed COVID-19 UK variant cases. Contact tracing is still ongoing to find out where they got it),” said the EOC’s statement.
The DOH-Davao said health authorities have called for an emergency meeting with local government units to come up with a coordinated response, following the detection of the new UK variant.
“Specimens that tested positive will be reviewed and selected samples that passed the laboratory criteria will undergo the whole genome sequencing at the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC) . The identified close contact will also undergo strict quarantine,” it said.