Thursday, May 13, 2021

GenSan confirms 2 more cases of Covid-19 variants

THE CITY  government reported on Wednesday night two more cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) variants involving returning overseas Filipino workers who have already recovered.  

Mayor Ronnel Rivera said the patients, both seafarers, tested positive for the B.1.1.7 (United Kingdom) and the B.1.617 (India) variants based on results of the genome sequencing conducted by the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC).

He said it was relayed to the local government on Wednesday by the Department of Health (DOH)-Region 12 and UP-PGC.

“Both patients have already been tagged as recovered but are still undergoing monitoring by our City Health Office for their safety,” the mayor said in a public advisory.

Last month, the city government confirmed three cases of the UK variant involving a male returning government worker and his two close contacts but were already declared recovered.

A report from the city epidemiology and surveillance unit (Cesu) said the latest patients returned home aboard commercial flights from Cebu and Manila on April 10 and 26, respectively, after getting clearance from health authorities.

The first patient, who contracted the UK variant, is a 42-year-old male from Barangay Lagao who arrived in Cebu last March 24 aboard Biman Airlines flight BG412 from Bangladesh.

He was subjected to mandatory quarantine in a hotel upon arrival but turned out positive of Covid-19 on March 30, prompting his transfer to an isolation facility of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Health authorities allowed him to return home on April 10 aboard Philippine Airlines flight PR4453 and underwent quarantine anew in a school-based barangay isolation unit.

He came out negative for Covid-19 on April 18 through reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing but continued his quarantine and was only released on April 24.

The second patient, who contracted the India variant, arrived in Manila from Oman on April 10 and underwent quarantine in a hotel in Quezon City.

The 37-year-old seafarer, who hails from Barangay San Isidro, tested positive for Covid-19 on April 19 and was isolated in another hotel in Manila before being cleared to return home on April 26.

But surveillance records showed that the patient, who came aboard Philippine Airlines flight 4453 with seat number 31C, then had a cough and was quarantined for one night in a hotel.

He was given clearance to under home quarantine on April 27 and came out negative for Covid-19 on May 6 through RT-PCR testing but only allowed for community integration on May 11.

Cesu said both cases were properly reported to the City Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Re-merging Infectious Diseases and the DOH-12, and underwent investigation and validation.

“No contact tracing of direct contacts for UK variant case (was) initiated because the patient was asymptomatic, directly isolated, and tested upon arrival,” it said.

In the case of the India variant, Cesu identified 13 passengers from the city in the same return flight and the validation is ongoing if necessary testing and quarantine measures were initiated by the respective accepting barangays.

It said six of them were subjected to RT-PCR testing and yielded negative for Covid-19, five are lined up for testing while two already left the city and were referred to the concerned offices. (By Richelyn Gubalani)

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