DOH asks NBI help in tracing 2 unlocated contacts of UK variant patient

By: Darryl John Esguerra - Reporter / @DJEsguerraINQ - Inquirer.net | January 22,2021 - 01:05 PM

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is seeking the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to find the two still unlocated co-passengers of the Filipino infected with the UK Covid-19 variant.

As of Friday, all but two of the 213 identified contacts of the 29-year-old Filipino patient have been traced and isolated. The male patient traveled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for a few days and returned to Manila on January 7 via Emirates Flight EK 332.

READ: UK Covid-19 variant detected in PH

“Just last night, nahanap na po iyong isa pa. So we’re just left with two. Nakita na iyong isang taga Region VII through the help of the Philippine National Police,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online press briefing.

Vergeire added they will now forward the names of the two remaining passengers to NBI.

“We have coordinated with the Department of Justice and we will be providing these two names to the NBI through the Department of Justice today,” she said.

The DOH official bared that the two untraced passengers provided insufficient contact details and addresses in their flight manifest which gave contact tracing teams hard time in locating them.

Meanwhile, over a dozen of the UK variant patient’s contacts, including his mother and girlfriend, have tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19. Their specimens are now with the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) to find out whether they also have the UK variant, which is believed to be more infectious.

The PGC is expected to come out with the result of its study on Saturday, January 23, Vergeire said.

KGA

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TAGS: COVID-19, Department of Health, DOH, Dubai, National Bureau of Investigation, NBI, UK variant, United Arab Emirates

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