^
â8 co-passengers of 1st variant patient test positiveâ
In a statement, PRC chairman and Sen. Richard Gordon said there were eight other positive tests from the same flight taken by the 29-year-old real estate agent who had traveled to Dubai with his partner.
AFP/Niklas Halle'm

‘8 co-passengers of 1st variant patient test positive’

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Eight persons who were on the same flight as the country’s first case of the United Kingdom variant of COVID-19 were found positive for the original virus, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) reported yesterday.

In a statement, PRC chairman and Sen. Richard Gordon said there were eight other positive tests from the same flight taken by the 29-year-old real estate agent who had traveled to Dubai with his partner.

Upon their return to the Philippines on an Emirates flight on Jan. 7, he tested positive for B.1.17 SARS-CoV 2, the new UK variant of COVID-19. His partner tested negative for the virus.

According to Gordon, the swab samples taken from the eight individuals have been sent to the Philippine Genome Center to determine if they were also infected with the new variant.

The Department of Health (DOH) is still validating if the eight people were paying passengers or flight staff.

Gordon said the PRC intends to help in tracking down the co-passengers and test them for COVID-19.

The DOH reported on Monday that seven of the 159 co-passengers of the first case of the UK variant could not be contacted based on the addresses and information that they provided.

Saliva testing

Meanwhile, Gordon urged the DOH to speed up the approval of saliva tests amid the threats of new variants of COVID-19.

“If given the green light, the PRC will ensure volume testing for individuals coming in and out of the country for us to trace this new COVID-19 variant and hopefully, we will be able to contain the transmission of the virus as soon as possible,” he said.

Last week, the PRC kicked off the pilot testing of saliva tests involving more than 1,000 health care and media workers as a requirement of the laboratory expert panel that evaluated the test kits.

Paulyn Ubial, former health secretary and head of the PRC molecular laboratories, said the “only way to prevent the spread of the new variant is to increase COVID testing.”

Ubial added that the PRC strives to go from 30,000 to 50,000 tests a day to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

The PRC has 13 molecular laboratories nationwide and has tested more than 1.6 million people for COVID-19.

COVID-19 PHILIPPINE RED CROSS
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with