MANILA - The country's coronavirus treatment czar on Thursday stressed the importance of contact tracing and sampling positive cases after the Philippines reported its first case of the more contagious COVID-19 variant first found in the UK.
Authorities are tracing all those onboard the flight of the 29-year-old Filipino who arrived from Dubai on Jan. 7, said Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega.
"Pinaka-importante ho dito would be contact tracing agad kung sino man ang naging direct contact up to 3rd level of generation contact at ma-quarantine talaga for 14 days," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(Contact tracing up to 3rd level and 14-days isolation are most important here.)
"Dapat mas madalas, regular na ang biosurveillance ng positive sample... atsaka yung mga positive cases na galing sa restrictive areas kailangan masampling sila lahat sa Philippine Genome Center."
(Biosurveillance of positive samples should also be conducted more often, regularly...Positive cases from restrictive areas should also be sampled at the Philippine Genome Center.)
Government will build a separate ward for patients who contract the more transmissible variant should it spread, Vega said.
"Kung magiging dominant po ang gagawin po namin talagang magbubukod kami ng ward for COVID (new) variant patients," he said.
(If it becomes dominant we will build a separate ward for COVID variant patients.)