No community transmission of UK variant in Bontoc: DOH

The Department of Health has yet to see if there is a case of community transmission of the of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in , Mountain Province.

This is even if there is a traveler from the UK connected to the COVID-19 infection cluster in town.

Barangay Samoki in Bontoc recorded 11 cases of the UK variant. All of them are said to be connected to the couple who returned from the United Kingdom on December 11.

They also both tested negative for the PCR test so they returned to Bontoc and visited Sagada.

On December 25, they had a party, and the next day, they performed a ritual to give thanks to the relatives and guests from Sagada.

The man consulted a doctor on December 27 due to abdominal pain and underwent a swab test and on December 29, tested positive for the RT-PCR test.

But when the male sample was sequenced, he was negative in the UK variant. As a result, the DOH has yet to say who else got the UK variant, but they do see the possibility that the man got the infection in the Philippines.

No community transmission of UK variant in Bontoc: DOH

“Marami nga siyang nakasalamuha. The fact na siya ay nagpositibo pero hindi nga nagpositibo for the UK variant napapakita na ang isang source of infection niya ay locally po,” said Dr. Alethea De Guzman, medical specialist of DOH Epidemiology Bureau.

“As of now, we’re not yet concluding that this traveller from UK is the source of infection and the department is currently doing back tracing of our pieces to identify other potential sources of infection,” she added.

Another case in another barangay was also found to be connected to other contacts seen by the DOH.

But according to De Guzman, even though there is local transmission of the UK variant in Bontoc, they have not seen a wider community transmission.

“We use the metrics by WHO (World Health Organization). Ang ebidensiya na mayroong community transmission ay marami na ‘yung kaso, nare-report at nakikita, ‘yung mga kasong ito nag-o-occur sa iba ibang cluster. At pangatlo ‘yung kaso across a certain area and ‘yung mga cluster ay hindi na makonekta o ma-link to each other,” said De Guzman.