A returning overseas Filipino (ROF) from Talibon and her infant daughter who were traced to have been on the same international flight as the 29-year-old Quezon City resident infected with the UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 have tested negative for the virus.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, Department of Health-7 chief pathologist, said there is no cause for alarm as Central Visayas region remains safe from the new strain or variant of the SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.
The Talibon woman and her daughter were among six Central Visayas natives traced to have been passengers of the Jan. 7 Emirates Flight 332 from Dubai.
“The status of all six passengers who were co-passengers of that passenger who tested positive of UK variant in Manila are asymptomatic when they arrived,” she said.
According to Talibon Mayor Janet Garcia, the ROF and her daughter who are from Barangay Bagacay will complete their mandatory 14-day quarantine at a facility in the municipality om Tuesday.
Garcia said that the both arrived in Bohol on January 10 and were immediately placed under isolation.
The town’s local government unit was notified by provincial health authorities of the woman and child’s status as suspected carriers of the new strain after both were traced to have been on board the flight.
“Kadto sila lahi man to na kaso, special cases to sila. Bisan og wa positive, gi isolate na namo to sila unya gi monitor,” the mayor said.
According to Loreche, the DOH has not required their family members to be tested as they were all asymptomatic and tested negative of coronavirus.
Loreche, however, said residents in the region should not ignore the minimum health protocols despite the fact that the region remains safe from the new Covid-19 strain.
She also said they have decided not to submit specimen samples from the six passengers to the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) for genomic sequencing as all of them tested negative in the swab test.
The chief pathologist, however, said the region has submitted two genome samples to the PGC – one from an American citizen who tested positive in the swab sampling and the other is from a 54-year-old male from Dubai who also tested positive.
The DOH-7, she said, is yet to receive results from the PGC.
“I have to remind everyone that variance (of Covid-19) are bound to occur as it is part of the adaption mechanism of a virus,” Loreche said, explaining that new strain must have been “all over now.” (A. Doydora with a report from PNA)