DOH-7 monitors 3 patients in Cebu suspected to have new virus variant
[UPDATED] CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) is now monitoring a total of three patients in Cebu suspected to have the new and more infectious coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) variant.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH-7 spokesperson, told reporters on Saturday, January 23, that a 28-year-old female returning Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) who arrived at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) from Dubai recently tested positive for the infection.
She is the latest to be included in DOH-7’s list of COVID-19 patients being closely monitored for possibly having the mutated variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the infection.
The passenger arrived in Cebu via the MCIA last January 21, Loreche said.
“Her samples will be sent out to PGC (Philippine Genome Center) this Monday, (January 25),” she added.
The female passenger from Dubai is the third COVID-19 patient being monitored by DOH-7 for possibly having the mutated variant of SARS-CoV-2, which was first reported in the United Kingdom and which experts said is, on average, 70 percent more infectious than the original variant.
The two others are a 35-year-old man who recently arrived from the United States and a 54-year-old man who came from Dubai.
Swab samples taken from both men were already delivered to PGC for genomic sequencing which will help health authorities determine if they are infected with the new variant.
Health officials here are still waiting for the release of their test results.
Upon their arrival and while they await the release of their test results, all three patients have been placed in a quarantine facility here, DOH-7 said.
As of January 22, DOH’s central office recorded a total of 16 COVID-19 patients in the country confirmed to have been infected with the mutated version of the SARS-CoV-2. / dcb
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