The Quezon City government is now conducting contact tracing and testing in an area of Barangay Commonwealth after a transient tested positive of the UK variant of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“We want to make sure that nobody was infected with COVID-19, especially by the much more contagious B.1.1.7 variant. We are acting very quickly to isolate the two, and to conduct extensive contact tracing and testing in the area. It is unfortunate that we learned about this only now,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.
The city government has launched contact tracing and testing in a community within Riverside, Barangay Commonwealth after a 35-year-old man who was quarantined for COVID-19 in an apartment with another individual later tested positive for the B.1.1.7 variant or UK variant after his samples were sequenced at the Philippine Genome Center.
Belmonte said she is now seeking legal advice as to whether the manning agency is liable for not following health protocols.
“This agency placed an entire community at risk by bringing a COVID-19 positive patient to our city, considering that both their agency and the quarantine hotel are in Manila,” she said.
She is appealing to the Bureau of Quarantine to determine why the hotel released the man to the agency several days after he tested positive.
She reminded QCitizens to continue practicing health protocols, such as wearing of face mask, frequent hand washing and social distancing.
“Our best defense is still a strict adherence to health protocols so we can keep ourselves and our families safe,” she said.
Last Feb. 10, the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit learned from the Department of Health that the man’s sample tested positive for the UK variant.
He and his companion were yesterday transferred to the Hope Facility.
DOH referred to the man who hails from Liloan, Cebu as the eighth UK variant case, whose sample was collected on Jan. 17, and tagged the man as an active case with mild symptoms.
The patient was a former overseas Filipino worker from Korea, who returned to the Philippines last August 2020 and stayed in Cebu.
On Nov. 17, 2020, he moved to Sucat, Parañaque City. He made frequent trips to a manning agency in Malate, Manila.
His last visit to the manning agency was on Jan. 14 after securing another overseas placement.
While waiting for deployment, he rode a taxi and stayed in a hotel in Manila on Jan. 17 and underwent a swab test in Pasay City.
The following day, he was informed that he tested positive for COVID-19 and his sample was sent to the Philippine Genome Center.
He continued to stay in the same hotel until Jan. 21, and thereafter his agency booked a ride via a ride-hailing app and transferred him to an apartment in Riverside, Quezon City.
On Feb. 5, his genome sequencing results showed he contracted the B.1.1.7 variant, and that on Feb. 8, he developed a mild cough.
Last Feb. 10, his agency arranged another swab test on him, along with his companion.
“Their condition will be strictly monitored by our experts, and we assure them that they will be well-taken care of in our facility,” CESU chief Dr. Rolly Cruz head.