MANILA (UPDATED) - The local government of Quezon City said Thursday there is no cause for concern as a resident was recorded as the country’s “patient zero” for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant.
In a press conference Wednesday, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said the male patient, who arrived in the country from Dubai, was immediately quarantined.
His girlfriend, who was with him when they travelled to the Philippines, was also quarantined.
The patient did not roam around the community, she noted.
"Nais nating i-reassure ang ating mamamayan na ito kahit residente ng QC, hindi po siya lumapag sa community 'nung siya ay na-test. Siya po ay idiniretso sa isolation facility so walang kailangang ikabahala ang mamamayan ng Barangay Kamuning,” Belmonte said.
(We want to reassure our constituents that the patient did not roam around the community when he was tested. He was immediately placed in an insolation facility so residents of Barangay Kamuning do not have to worry.)
The girlfriend tested negative but she would undergo another swab test. Her family will also get screened for the virus even if she has not contacted them, as a precaution.
“Now what I'm waiting for is the manifesto of the other passengers that were on the same flight kasi gusto kong i-monitor lahat ng taga-QC (I want to monitor QC residents) that were on the same flight,” Belmonte said.
NO LOCKDOWN IN KAMUNING
Meanwhile, Belmonte said there is no need for a lockdown in Barangay Kamuning, considering that the patient went directly to a quarantine hotel upon arrival in the country.
“There is no need to lockdown Kamuning or any parts of it as the patient did not even set foot in the community upon his arrival, nor did he meet his family. We only implement lockdowns or what we call special concern lockdowns when we see that there is a clustering of cases in a specific area that may be indicative of community transmission. Since he did not go home, there is clearly no reason why we should impose any lockdown,” she said in a separate statement.
Belmonte also reminded Quezon City residents to refrain from discriminating residents of Barangay Kamuning, reiterating that the city has an anti-discrimination ordinance.
"Our anti-discrimination ordinance remains in force. Do not discriminate people from Kamuning because there is no need to fear them as possible carriers of the new COVID-19 variant,” she added.
The Department of Health earlier said it will strengthen surveillance and contact tracing for the more contagious COVID-19 variant first spotted in the United Kingom.
COVID-19 treatment czar Leopoldo Vega said all samples that would test positive should undergo gene sequencing to check for the UK mutation.
The Department of Health also plans to install a new ward or facility for those who will test positive for the new variant.