13 contacts of Filipino with UK variant, positive for COVID-19
Marje Pelayo • January 20, 2021 • 548
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on Wednesday (January 20) that eight of the co-passengers of the male case of UK variant of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) who arrived from Dubai also tested positive for COVID-19.
All eight, who are Filipino nationals, were immediately quarantined upon arrival and were transported to the isolation facilities right after the result of the RT-PCR tests were released.
Though the first RT-PCR tests were COVID-19 positive, their viral load was low and couldn’t be taken for genome sequencing.
The group has undergone swab testing to determine if they, also, are positive for the UK variant.
Aside from the eight individuals, five other close contacts of the UK variant positive patient have been tested positive for COVID-19.
These include two other passengers who were with them on the flight from Dubai, the patient’s mother and his partner, as well as the healthcare worker who assisted him.
Authorities, however, have not revealed any detail yet as to how the mother of the male patient contracted the disease.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte stressed that there was not a time the male patient went home in his residence in Quezon City since they arrived.
“Ang very close contacts niya ay mga household members nila kasama yung nanay at yung girlfriend niya,” explained Health Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.
“Iyong girlfriend niya initially tested negative pero nung nagre-swab tayo, she turned positive. And the mother, nung na-swab siya, ang resulta niya rin ay positive. So pinadala na rin for sequencing yung kanilang mga specimen,” she added.
All samples from the said five COVID-19 positive patients have been sent to the Philippine Genome Center for sequencing to also determine if they are positive for the UK variant.
Results are expected to be out on Thursday.
Meanwhile, six more persons from the 159 close contacts of the patient are still being located.
The DOH has asked the help of Contact Tracing Czar Mayor Benjamin Magalong to immediately locate them.
“153 of them ay na-contact na natin. Nagkaroon na tayo ng pakikipag-ugnayan with them. They are all now isolated. So we are now left with 6 but this morning may report sa akin meron na ring nahanap uli na additional two,” Vergeire.
“So apat nalang po ang natitira na hindi natin nahahanap,” she added.
The DOH is closely monitoring the results of the tests on the patient’s close contacts to prevent the spread of the UK variant in the Philippines.
The agency reminds the public to always be responsible and follow strict minimum health standards whatever variant of COVID-19 is prevailing in the country. –MNP (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
MANILA, Philippines – May karapatan ang mga publiko at pribadong establisimyento na pagbawalang pumasok ang mga taong hindi susunod sa health protocols gaya ng tamang pagsusuot ng face mask.
Ayon kay acting Presidential spokesperson at Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, binigyan na ng pahintulot ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) ang mga establisimiyento na huwag papasukin ang sinumang susuway sa patakaran laban sa hawaan ng COVID-19.
“Mayroon pong authority ang mga establishments na doon sa mga di nagsusuot ng face mask o ‘di kayang magsuot ng face mask kabilang na po dito ang mga menor de edad, ay mayroon na po silang authority na di po papasukin sa kanila pong establismyento,” ani Nograles.
Panawagan namang opisyal sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na tiyaking naipatutupad ang minimum health standards sa kani-kanilang mga nasasakupan upang maiwasan ang muling pagtaas ng kaso ng coronavirus infections.
Muli ring umapela ang Palasyo sa mga magulang na huwag dadalhin ang kanilang maliliit na mga anak sa malls at iba pang lugar na close, crowded at maaaring mag-promote ng close-contact activities. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – Some airline companies have started the gradual rehiring of their flight and ground crew that were laid-off due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the number of flights continues to increase.
AirAsia said they will slowly reactivate over 400 former employees as domestic flights to some tourist destinations resume.
These workers include cabin crews, pilot ground staff and engineering personnel.
“Ngayon, we’re activating starting December. Mag-a-undergo na ng training yung at least 15 percent and then effective January 1, 2022, laha nitong mga All-Stars natin na nag-hibernate ay gradual na ring ire-reintegrate sa ating linya,” AirAsia spokesperson Steve Dailisan said.
AirAsia said it will also double the flights to several local destinations such as in Caticlan, which is the gateway to the world-renowned Boracay Island.
Airliner Cebu Pacific also announced it will be rehiring staff who were furloughed during the pandemic to prepare for the anticipated increase in domestic and international flights.
“Right now, we’re very prepared definitely. Our staff are fully-trained and are actually fully-vaccinated also—yung active flying crew natin. So, additional safety yan for our passengers,” said Michelle Lim, Cebu Pacific Corporate Communications Manager.
Cebu Pacific said it will also increase flights to six local destinations including Boracay Island via the Caticlan Airport, Bohol, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and General Santos City.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) also announced it will operate more domestic and international flights amid increasing flight frequencies and booking.
PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said they are also planning to reactivate furloughed workers, but clarified they are yet to rehire laid-off workers as operations remain limited.
“By December, it will be one 1,350 in terms of cabin crew count that will be assigned to serve our flights because the number of cabin crews this year and at present and previous year was very much less because of the number of flights,” she.
Airline companies reminded passengers to be at the airport at least three hours before their scheduled flight and ensure they bring with them all travel documents required for their trip. (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is set to reopen its doors to select travelers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Malacañang announced Friday.
In a Palace briefing, acting Presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that starting December 1 to 15, fully vaccinated nationals of non-visa required countries will be allowed entry to the Philippines.
The new policy was approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) under Resolution No. 150-A.
The list of countries whose nationals are allowed to enter the Philippines without visa for a period of stay of 30 days may be view here.
Nograles, however, noted that these travelers should satisfy the following conditions:
Their passport should be valid for at least 6 months at the time of arrival
They should have a return or outbound ticket to their country of origin or next destination
Prior to arrival in Philippines, they should have stayed exclusively for 14 days in a Green List area with low COVID-19 cases
They must have proof of vaccination against COVID-19
Fully vaccinated foreign nationals bound for the Philippines shall present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure from the country of origin.
Upon arrival in the Philippines, they will not go to a facility-based quarantine and no on-arrival RT-PCR test will be required.
However, passengers will be asked to self-monitor for any symptom until the 14th day with the first day being the date of arrival, Nograles said.
Travelers merely transiting through Green List areas shall not be deemed as having come from these territories if they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry.
The testing and quarantine protocols of minors shall follow the testing and quarantine protocol of the parent/guardian traveling with them.
For those vaccinated but failed to comply with the test-before-travel requirements, Nograles said they shall be governed by the protocols for unvaccinated individuals coming from Green List areas.
They will also be required to undergo facility-based quarantine until the release of their negative RT-PCR test taken on the 5th day; and self-monitor until the 14th day with the date of arrival being the first day.
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