New COVID-19 Variant In PH Can Potentially Spread As Passengers W/ Patient Rejects DOH Calls
PASSENGERS AVOIDING DOH – The new COVID-19 variant from the UK has been detected in the PH promoting intensified contact tracing.
The Department of Health identified the first case of the new variant from a patient returning from Dubai. Furthermore, the DOH identified the patient’s close contacts.
However, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire reported how some of the passengers aboard the patient’s flight home rejected their calls. During an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo, Vergeire said:
Some passengers are rejecting our call. Sana po ay kausapin nila kami para…mabigyan namin sila ng guidelines on what they should do
As such, Vergeire said that they had contacted local government units as they already have their address. “Kailangan talaga to strictly comply with minimum public health standards para hindi magkaroon ng transmission of this variant in the country”, she emphasized.
The new coronavirus strain has been found to be more transmissible compared to previous strains. Because of this, some experts believe that an outbreak of the new strain could spell catastrophe for the Philippines.
Meanwhile, a report from ABS-CBN stated that authorities see no reason to transfer the patient to another hospital. Dr. Rolly Cruz, head of QC Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit. explained that avoiding a transfer ensures there’s no transmission.
The patient found with the new virus strain was identified as a 29-year-old Filipino male who returned from Dubai. Moreover, the patient reportedly left the Philippines for Dubai last December 27. Afterward, the patient returned on January 7 via Emirates Flight No. EK 332.
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