The Department of Health (DOH) Region 7 clarified that the 35-year-old Liloan resident who was found to have the UK variant of the new coronavirus got tested in Manila and not Cebu, prompting an apology from Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Monday.
DOH 7 said the case was indeed a Liloan resident as stated earlier but he left Cebu in November last year “to process his requirements as an OFW, and has never traveled back to his hometown since then.”
“He tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in a private molecular laboratory in Sta. Ana, Manila as a requirement for his travel for work, on January 17, 2021, and sample was forwarded to the PGC for genomic sequencing for the UK variant, which result was likewise released as positive on February 5, 2021,” it said in a statement on Sunday.
Vergeire apologized to the Cebu province on Monday, stressing that the DOH did not intend to cause panic among Liloan residents.
“When we report cases, we report based on the address that was given to us… It was the specific address that was included into their case investigation form,” she said during a virtual briefing.
“We’d like to apologize to the province of Cebu. Hindi po tayo para mag-instigate nitong takot ngunit ‘yun lang po talaga ang ating regular… because that’s part of our case investigation form,” she added.
The DOH earlier said that the 35-year-old patient was exhibiting mild symptoms of COVID-19.
Among the 25 UK variant cases recorded so far, 22 have recovered, one has died, and two cases remain active.
The Philippines has tallied a total of 537,310 infections with 499,798 recoveries and 11,179 deaths as of Sunday afternoon, February 7, 2021. —KBK, GMA News