GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The city government confirmed on Monday night that a returning resident is the area's first case of the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant which was first detected in the United Kingdom (UK).
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said in an advisory the patient is a 58-year-old male from Barangay San Isidro here who was earlier identified as among the close contacts of a coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) case in his undisclosed workplace.
He said the patient was able to travel to the city as he is considered an authorized person outside of residence (APOR).
The mayor did not provide the travel details of the patient but a bulletin of positive cases released by the local government on March 28 showed a person with the same profile identified as GSC2156.
The latter’s test samples were among those sent to the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center for sequencing.
The mayor said the result, which was released through the Department of Health-Region 12 Monday morning, confirmed that the patient was infected with the UK variant.
“This new variant is more contagious, virulent, and dangerous so we need to be more serious and intensify the interventions that we have been undertaking,” Rivera said.
He said the patient and his family have already been isolated and being closely monitored by health workers.
The City Health Office has already completed the contact-tracing for the latter until the third level, he said.
The mayor advised residents, visitors, and other individuals entering the city to always comply with the minimum health protocols, especially the wearing of face masks and face shields, and the observance of safe physical distancing.
He said everyone should meet in open spaces where there is constant airflow and avoid engaging with other people for more than 30 minutes.
As of Monday night, the confirmed Covid-19 cases in the city already reached a total of 2,270, with 89 related deaths, and 2,098 recoveries.
The CHO reported a total of 83 active cases, with 20 new Covid-19 infections and 10 recoveries recorded in the last two days. (PNA)