DOH apologizes to Cebu over conflict in address of UK Covid-19 variant patient

By: Cathrine Gonzales - Reporter / @cgonzalesINQ - Inquirer.net | February 08,2021 - 02:07 PM

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) apologized on Monday to Cebu residents for earlier announcing that a UK Covid-19 variant patient was from Liloan even though he did not stay in the town prior to testing positive for the new coronavirus.

In an online press briefing, DOH undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that announcing the address of Covid-19 variant patients based on their case investigation form is part of reporting protocols. She said the indicated address of the 35-year-old patient in the form is Liloan, Cebu.

However, DOH-Central Visayas spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche later said that the man was actually staying in Parañaque City since November until the time he went through a swab test on January 17. She said the patient has not been able to return to his hometown.

“We’d like to apologize to the province of Cebu. Hindi po tayo para mag-instigate ng takot ngunit iyon lang po talaga ang regular o kasama po doon sa pagrereport natin talaga because that is part of their case investigation form,” Vergeire said.

(We’d like to apologize to the province of Cebu. We do not want to instigate fear but that is part of our reporting because the address is included in the case investigation form.)

“Tinitingnan rin po natin ‘yung punto na the case was tested somewhere na hindi po sa Liloan but another place and meron na ho tayong tinitingnan, at nakikipag-usap na tayo sa ating national government offices para matulungan tayo na ma-track siya because apparently this case left the country sometime, during that time that he was tested,” Vergeire added.

(We are also looking at the fact that the case was tested somewhere and not in Liloan. We are also coordinating with national government offices to help us track him because apparently, this case left the country sometime, during that time that he was tested.)

Loreche, in a radio interview, earlier said that the patient got tested for Covid-19 for a job abroad.

The 35-year-old patient is among the eight additional confirmed cases of the more transmissible UK Covid-19 variant, called B.1.1.7. variant, in the Philippines.

In a statement on Friday, the DOH said the patient is “tagged as an active case with mild disease and is currently being managed.” The exposure and travel history of the patient are also being verified.

The country has so far confirmed a total of 25 cases of the B.1.1.7. variant. Of this number, only two remain as active cases, one has died, and the remaining 22 have already recovered.

Vergeire confirmed that the fatality is the 84-year-old male patient from La Trinidad, Benguet who was also earlier reported to have died last January 24.

“The person is an 84-year-old from La Trinidad, Benguet. Hindi pa nakuha ‘yung ibang detalye but apparently noong kausap namin ‘yung regional office namin, they said that this person never went out, seldom, nandoon lang daw sa loob ng bahay, walang ibang contact,” Vergeire said when asked to identify of the Covid-19 variant patient who died after having the disease.

(The person is a 84-year-old individual from La Trinidad, Benguet. We have not received further details but according to our regional office, this person apparently never or seldom went out of his house and did not have any other contacts.)

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JE

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TAGS: Cebu‬, COVID-19, Department of Health, Liloan, Loreche, Parañaque, UK variant, Vergeire

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