The Quezon City (QC) government on Friday, January 22, announced that its resident who was the first case of the more infectious United Kingdom (UK) variant of COVID-19 in the Philippines has tested negative for the virus.
The QC government said in a Facebook post that this was the result of the patient’s latest polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
The index case, however, will remain under health monitoring for at least two weeks.
“The doctors at the quarantine facility where he is staying will make a final assessment before he is allowed to reunite with his family and reintegrate with the community,” the QC government said.
The Department of Health (DOH) was able to trace 213 contacts of the index case – his co-passengers in Dubai-Manila flight EK 332, his household members, and healthcare workers of the QC government.
Of his contacts who underwent swab testing, 14 tested positive for the virus, including his girlfriend who accompanied him in his Dubai trip, and his mother. It’s not yet known if they also have the UK variant of the virus.
The girlfriend tested negative for the virus upon arrival in Manila on January 7, but tested positive less than a week later.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing on Friday that the genome sequencing results of those who tested positive will be out by Saturday, January 23.
Genomic sequencing is the process of analyzing the virus sample taken from a diagnosed patient and comparing it with other cases to see whether those who tested positive for COVID-19 have the new variant.
Experts have warned that the UK variant of COVID-19 might increase the coronavirus cases in the Philippines by up to 15-fold. – Rappler.com