Quezon City authorities probe how mother of PH's first UK variant case got infected

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2021 12:17 AM

MANILA - The local government of Quezon City said Wednesday it is investigating how the mother of the Quezon City resident who tested positive with the UK variant of COVID-19 got infected with the disease.

In a statement, the local government said upon learning that the resident had the UK variant of COVID-19, it immediately conducted contact tracing and swab testing of all identified close contacts of the patient, including the healthcare workers who assisted him from his quarantine hotel in Manila to the isolation facility in Quezon City where he is still staying at present.

The city also said everyone in the patient's immediate household, including his mother, were isolated and swabbed.

Only his mother tested positive for COVID-19.

Dr. Rolly Cruz, head of the Quezon City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU), said they already brought the mother's swab sample to the Philippine Genome Center last week to check if she is infected with the common COVID-19 virus or the UK variant.

"Her results will be released any day now," Cruz said.

"We are already investigating how the mother of our UK variant case got infected with COVID-19, since the index case never set foot at home or in the community and did not have any interaction with her after arriving in the Philippines from Dubai on January 7," he added.

Meanwhile, the local government also said all frontliners from Barangay Kamuning tested negative for COVID-19, except for one healthcare worker at the Hope isolation facility where "patient zero" is located, who tested positive.

Cruz said they are now checking whether his result is due to remnants of a the disease due to a recent COVID-19 infection, or a new infection.

The local government also said they have sent the swab sample of the patient's girlfriend, to the Philippine Genome Center. She was also transferred to an isolation facility upon confirmation that her boyfriend tested positive with the UK variant.

“We will soon learn whether she has the UK variant like the index case, or the regular COVID-19 virus,” said Cruz.

QC authorities also clarified that of the 9 positive cases from the Emirates flight, only the index patient is a Quezon City resident.

Another 7 of 8 co-passengers who reside in Quezon City are now in quarantine while awaiting their second test results.

As of Wednesday, Cruz said the UK variant case has nearly recovered.

"We are just waiting for guidance from the DOH if he still needs to extend his quarantine period to ensure he will no longer be infectious,” he added.

Because of these recent developments, the city government strongly encourages all Filipinos returning from abroad to adhere to the 14-day quarantine period regardless of their test results.

The Department of Health earlier reported that there are now 13 people who have tested positive among the contacts of the UK variant case.

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