Issue of January 10, 2021
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No result yet of new COVID variant test on MP patient
by Jane B. Cadalig

The Department of Health-Cordillera is still awaiting results of the specimen of an overseas Filipino worker from the United Kingdom who went home to Mountain Province and later tested positive for the Covid-19.

DOH-Cordillera Director Ruby Constantino said the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) is yet to release the result of the sample sent to the institute for detection if it carries the new Covid-19 variant.

The OFW arrived in the Philippines on Dec. 11, before the government-imposed restrictions on travelers from UK, where the new Covid-19 or B117 variant was recorded.

Constantino said the OFW tested negative for the Covid-19 upon his arrival to the country and went home to Bontoc.

The patient reportedly complained of diarrhea and palpitations on Dec. 27. He underwent an antigen test at Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital in Bauko and tested positive.

Constantino said the patient’s positive antigen sample was sent to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center for the RT-PCR test and the result was confirmed.

She said the specimen was immediately sent to the PGC where it will be analyzed to see if it carries the new Covid-19 variant.

Constantino said the patient remains in isolation at the LHMRH.

“We advised Mountain Province that the patient must be isolated at the hospital and not at home,” she said.

The new Covid-19 variant was first detected in the UK in September. The UK is the first nation where the Covid-19 vaccine was administered.

The new variant has already spread to 20 countries including Hong Kong and Singapore and is said to be more contagious.

The DOH said the new Covid-19 variant has not yet reached Philippine shores, but the agency is reminding the public to keep practicing the minimum health protocols such as regular hand washing, wearing of face masks and shields, and observing physical distancing.

Aside from these, the DOH also advised the public to avoid going to enclosed and crowded places and limit interaction with others to 15 minutes.

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