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Quezon City watches first UK variant case

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The Quezon City government, in coordination with the Department of Health, is closely monitoring the case of a resident who tested positive for the Covid-19 United Kingdom variant (B.1.1.7).

The patient was tested on January 7 upon arrival from Dubai and thereafter stayed at a hotel as part of protocol.

The day after, it was confirmed that the person had the so-called United Kingdom variant after his sample was sent to the Philippine Genome Center. He was immediately brought  to an isolation facility where he is now being cared for.

He left the Philippines on December 27 on a business trip to Dubai  with one companion. His female companion tested negative upon arrival.

The patient and his companion tested negative before leaving the Philippines, and tested negative as well upon arrival in Dubai.

The City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit has conducted contact tracing on the resident’s close contacts upon his arrival like the healthworkers at the isolation facility where he was brought, and the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) that brought him from the hotel to the isolation facility.

The CESU is waiting for the DOH to submit the list of passengers who were on the same flight as the patient from Dubai to contact trace passengers who may be from Quezon City.

As an added precautionary measure, the patient’s  immediate household contacts have been brought to an isolation facility where they were also tested.

CESU also initiated heightened surveillance in the community of the resident to determine the presence of clustered cases.

“We have to remain cautious and  vigilant to avert the spread of this new variant. What is important is we take care of the resident, and make sure we don’t sow panic in the community,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.

Belmonte also stressed the need to intensify practicing minimum health standards and report all symptoms immediately, following the confirmation of the new variant in the city.

“We are doing everything we can to trace and isolate, knowing fully well that this variant is more contagious but not more virulent”, said CESU head Dr. Rolly Cruz.

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