In hiding? PH still looking for 3 contacts of first case of new COVID variant


Posted at Jan 21 2021 11:00 AM | Updated as of Jan 21 2021 11:02 AM

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MANILA - Authorities are still looking for 3 co-passengers of the first case of the new COVID-19 variant in the Philippines, the Department of Health said Thursday.

Two of the passengers were reportedly from Metro Manila while one was from Central Visayas, said DOH spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire, citing information from the Philippine National Police.

"Natunton po natin ang iba through the help of PNP nakapagtanong-tanong po nila sa area. Sa tingin ko po 'yung pagtatago is something of a consequence, medyo natatakot dahil yung experience before na kumakalat sa barangay, nadi-discriminate and all," she told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(We were able to track the others through the help of the PNP which made queries around the area. I think the passengers hiding is something of a consequence, they are scared because of previous experiences of discrimination in villages.)

The male patient, who arrived Jan. 7 from Dubai, is now asymptomatic and will be tested later Thursday for the coronavirus, Vergeire said.

His girlfriend and his mother have since tested positive for COVID-19, with their test results being validated to check for the new variant, officials earlier said. Eleven passengers on the flight also contracted the respiratory illness.