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DOH: Close contacts of UK variant-positive Pinay swabbed, quarantined

The close contacts of the Filipina domestic helper in Hong Kong who tested positive for the UK variant of coronavirus have already been swabbed for COVID-19 test and quarantined, the Department of Health said Friday.

"In Solano, Cagayan [Valley] kung saan siya nanggaling, atin na pong na-coordinate na... Napuntahan na po itong close contacts at nakuhanan na po ng swab for RT-PCR at ito pong specimen din for genome sequencing ay nagawa na. Naipadala na po itong specimen na ito sa Philippine Genome Center," Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online briefing.

"They are currently quarantined and being monitored," she added.

The same actions were taken for the close contacts of the case in Metro Manila.

"Mayroon kasi siyang manning agency dito. Lahat po ng naging close contact niya ay natunton naman po natin. They were all swabbed," Vergeire said.

Other "retroactive" contacts of the case since she arrived in Cagayan Valley, before leaving from Hong Kong again in December, are also being traced. The exact date of her arrival in the country before flying out to Hong Kong is yet to be determined.

The results of the tests being run by the Philippine Genome Center for the close contacts of the case is expected to be out next week, according to Vergeire.

Health officials in Hong Kong first reported that a traveler from the Philippines tested positive for the new coronavirus variant on Tuesday.

The DOH later on shared information that the case was a 30-year-old woman from Cagayan Valley who arrived in Metro Manila on December 18 and underwent quarantine in observance of workplace protocols.

On December 19, she took an RT-PCR test for COVID-19, which yielded a negative result. The traveler departed for Hong Kong on December 22 and again underwent quarantine upon arrival.

She took another swab test on January 2 and tested positive for the coronavirus variant initially discovered in the United Kingdom. — RSJ, GMA News