Patient with UK COVID-19 variant in Calamba a technician from Britain

The patient who tested positive for the COVID-19 variant in Calamba City was a radiologic technician from Britain who returned to the Philippines during the Christmas season.

Mark Salazar reported on “24 Oras” that the 23-year-old male technician arrived in the Philippines on December 4, weeks before the country imposed a travel ban on passengers from the where the B.1.1.7 variant originated.

He tested negative for the virus upon his arrival in the country.

However, he started experiencing symptoms two days later.

On December 10, he was tested again for COVID-19 and went home to Calamba to undergo quarantine.

On December 16, he tested positive for COVID-19 but after a month of quarantine, he tested negative for the disease on January 16.

On January 18, he went back to the UK.

It was not until January 22 that the Department of Health (DOH) reported that 16 cases of COVID-19 variant were detected in the Philippines.

Patient with COVID-19 variant in Calamba a technician from Britain

“Nag-request ang DOH na magpadala ng… na kung mayroong natirang specimen doon sa original swab, ipadala doon sa genome sequencing at true enough, lumabas nga na variant,” said Calamba City Health Office chief Dr. Adelino Labro.

“Umuwi lang doon sa bahay ng kanyang ninong. Since na nalaman na nag-positive, nag-isolate kaagad ito, since may separate naman na bahay ‘yung ninong niya. Minonitor naman namin ‘yung ninong niya at kamag-anak. So far naman, walang lumabas na positive case,” he added.

According to Calamba Mayor Timmy Chipeco, the UK variant could not have transmitted to other residents since the patient was immediately isolated.

“Whether or not he has a new variant or doesn’t have the new variant, he was quarantined… It’s just that we don’t know that time that there was a new variant,” he said.

“So hindi siya nag-spread domestically. Lumabas ‘yung issue ng new variant, nakaalis na rin siya. He was isolated from the rest of the group. Hindi siya ‘yung superspreader.”

The DOH earlier said the UK COVID-19 variant case in Calamba was not connected to the cases detected in Bontoc, Mountain Province, and La Trinidad, Benguet.