Two residents in the neighborhood in Quezon City where the overseas Filipino worker with the UK variant of the novel coronavirus stayed tested positive for COVID-19, the Quezon City government said on Monday.
They are a 36-year-old male and a 44-year-old female. Both are asymptomatic and residents of Riverside in Barangay Commonwealth. They tested positive for COVID-19 on February 11 and were brought to the HOPE Quarantine Facility.
Their samples will be submitted for genome sequencing to determine if they got the UK variant of the novel coronavirus.
The two are among the 206 individuals in Riverside who underwent swab tests. Eight of the 206 had symptoms while 198 were asymptomatic.
They are among the 342 individuals identified to be staying within the 50-meter radius of the apartment where the index case stayed. Some of them however were considered third generation contacts and thus were not subjected to swab test.
The housemates of the two positive cases also had swab tests. Six have tested negative, while three are still awaiting their results.
The Quezon City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) will do more contact tracing for the two positive cases, the local government said.
It will also recommend that the housemates of the two cases finish their 14-day quarantine.
Meanwhile, those identified as general contacts of the individuals who tested negative for COVID-19 need not finish their 14-day quarantine anymore.
The index case, a resident of Liloan, Cebu, went around Metro Manila before he tested positive for the UK variant of the novel coronavirus. He went to Sucat, Parañaque to fix his documents then had a swab test on Jan. 17 as part of requirements before flying to Taiwan. While waiting for his result, he went to a hotel in Manila. He then received a positive result on January 18. The next day, with an advisory from his manning agency, the patient moved to an apartment in Riverside, Barangay Commonwealth, Quezon City via a Grab vehicle to continue his quarantine. He has already recovered from COVID-19, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte earlier announced.
Nine first generation close contacts of the OFW tested negative for COVID-19, the LGU said.
The nine close contacts—one male housemate, six staff of a hotel in Binondo, one Grab driver and one welding customer—will finish their 14-day home quarantine. While he was staying at the QC apartment, the OFW and his housemate did welding.
The QC government said among the second generation contacts of the index case, nine were staying in the same house as the welding customer.
In all, 196 general close contacts of the index case have been identified. Among these are the two passengers of the Grab driver who also drove for the index case.
Belmonte said the local government would file a complaint against the manning agency of the patient for alleged breaches in health protocols.
She said they will file the complaint against Baltic Asia Crewing manning agency for not reporting the COVID-19 case.
The number of COVID-19 cases has reached 550,860 as of Monday, the Department of Health said.
Of this number, 511,755 have recovered while 11,517 died. —KG, GMA News