Filipino with UK variant now negative for COVID-19; NBI tapped to trace missing co-passengers

CNN Philippines – Published Jan 22, 2021 12:54:56 PM


Metro Manila — The Philippines’ first known case of the more transmissible UK COVID-19 variant is now cleared of coronavirus infection, officials said on Friday.

The Quezon City Government said the 29-year-old patient tested negative in his latest swab test. Doctors in his quarantine facility have to assess if he can be sent home soon.

Health Department Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said a thorough assessment, such as a chest X-ray, needs to be done because the patient was previously diagnosed with pneumonia. She also stressed the importance of monitoring after the patient is sent home. Local officials vowed to continue monitoring the patient for at least two weeks after he returns to his home in Quezon City.

Meanwhile, DOH is seeking the help of the National Bureau of Investigation to contact the patient’s two co-passengers during their flight from Dubai to Manila on January 7.

“We will be providing these two names to the NBI, through the Department of Justice, today para lang mahanap natin. Mas madali kasi silang makakahanap because of their database,” Vergeire said in a media briefing.

[Translation: We will send the two names to the NBI today so we can find them. They can easily find them because they have the database.]

Of the 159 passengers on board the Emirates flight, 13 travelers — including the index case detected with the B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 variant first found in the United Kingdom — tested positive for COVID-19. At least 14 contacts of the patient have contracted the disease.


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