The new variant of the coronavirus has been officially detected in the Philippines through a Filipino who arrived from the UAE on January 7.
In a statement, the Department of Health said that the male patient is a resident of Quezon City who left for Dubai for business purposes last December 27. He returned on January 7 via Emirates Flight no. EK 332.
“Following strengthened biosurveillance and border control efforts, the DOH and the Philippine Genome Centre (PGC) today officially confirm the detection of the B.1.1.7. SARS-CoV-2 variant (UK variant) in the country after samples from a Filipino from the UAE on January 7 yielded positive genome sequencing results,” DOH said in a statement.
Upon arrival in the country, the person with the new coronavirus variant was immediately swabbed and quarantined.
“The positive test result was released the following day and the patient was referred to a quarantine facility in Quezon City while his samples were sent to PGC for whole-genome sequencing,” it added.
The Filipino traveler was with his female partner during the trip, however, she was tested negative for the new virus. The DOH said that the couple did not have any exposure to Covid-19 before their trip.
“Immediate contact tracing was done in close coordination with the QC government, and the initially identified contacts are asymptomatic and currently under strict home quarantine,” it added.