By J. Jala | 08:45 PM January 13, 2021
The United Kingdom (UK) variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the B.1.1.7, has been detected in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.
DOH reported the detection of the new variant, known as B117, after samples from a Filipino who arrived from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Jan. 7 yielded positive genome sequencing results.
The patient with the UK variant is a male resident of Quezon City who departed for Dubai on December 27, 2020 for business purposes and arrived in the Philippines last January 7, 2021 via Emirates Flight No. EK 332.
“The patient was swabbed and quarantined in a hotel upon arrival. 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,” the DOH said.
His female partner accompanied the patient during his trip, but she tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 upon arrival. She is currently under strict quarantine and monitoring.
DOH said the couple had no exposure to a confirmed case before their departure to Dubai nor had any travel activities outside Quezon City.
Immediate contact tracing was done in close coordination with the QC government.
Initially identified contacts are asymptomatic and currently under strict home quarantine, DOH said.
The DOH has also secured the flight manifest of the flight in question and contact tracing of other passengers is now underway.
The DOH advised those who were aboard Emirates Flight No. EK 332 to get in touch with their barangay health workers.