Some passengers who flew with COVID variant patient ignoring contact tracing efforts — DOH

By: Cathrine Gonzales - Reporter / @cgonzalesINQ - Inquirer.net | January 14,2021 - 01:01 PM

MANILA, Philippines — Some passengers of Emirates Flight No. EK 332 that carried the Filipino patient who tested positive for the new and more infectious coronavirus variant are rejecting calls from the contact tracing team.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Thursday said that most of the passengers were already contacted but some were not entertaining calls.

“Nakakausap namin actually most of these passengers, but some passengers are rejecting our calls so sana po ay kausapin nila kami para kami ay magkaroon ng maayos na contact tracing at mabigyan namin sila ng guidance on what they should do,” she said in an interview on ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.

(We are able to talk to most of the passengers but some passengers are rejecting our calls. I hope they will talk to us so that we can have a good contact tracing and we can give them guidance on what they should do.)

“‘Yung iba po patay ang telepono, so ito po ay mga challenges po sa atin so hopefully we can be able to talk with them today,” she added.

(The cellphones of some of the passengers are turned off. So these are the challenges we are facing. Hopefully we will be able to talk with them today.)

On Wednesday night, the Department of Health (DOH) reported that the more infectious variant of SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, is now in the Philippines.

The DOH said that the Philippine Genome Center reported the detection of the new variant, known as B117, from a Filipino who recently arrived from the United Arab Emirates.

The patient, who is now undergoing quarantine, is a male resident of Quezon City who departed for Dubai on December 27 for business purposes and arrived in the Philippines last January 7.

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For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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