Philippines confirms first case of new COVID-19 variant

January 13, 2021

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MANILA, Philippines — Health authorities on Wednesday night reported the country's first case from the new variant of the coronavirus through a Filipino who arrived back in Manila from the United Arab Emirates on January 7. 

The health department in a notice said the patient is from Quezon City who left Dubai on December 27 for business purposes and returned to the country on the said date, through Emirates flight no. 332. He has since been swabbed and quarantine at a hotel and the positive result came after he was transferred to a quarantine facility in Q.C.

The male patient had traveled with his female partner who had tested negative but is still under quarantine and monitoring. 

"Both of the returning Filipinos had no exposure to a confirmed case prior to their departure to Dubai nor had any travel activities outside Quezon City," the DOH said. "Immediate contact tracing was done in close coordination with the QC government, and the initially identified contacts are asymptomatic and current under strict home quarantine."

The health department said it also now has the flight details of the two for further contact tracing of other passengers. Those in the said flight are advised to get in touch with Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams.

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