Girlfriend, mom of Philippines' first case of new COVID-19 variant cleared of mutation
This January 20 photo shows shoppers at Balintawak Market in Quezon City.
Released/Quezon City government

Girlfriend, mom of Philippines' first case of new COVID-19 variant cleared of mutation

(Philstar.com) - January 23, 2021 - 10:05am

MANILA, Philippines — The girlfriend and mother of the Philippines’ first case of the new coronavirus variant feared to be more infectious tested negative for the mutated virus, the Quezon City government announced late Friday evening.

The Quezon City government said the two, who are among the 15 contacts of the country’s first case of the B117 variant who tested positive for COVID-19, were cleared of the new coronavirus variant.

“Doctors will continue to monitor them and they would only need to finish quarantining in an isolation facility,” the Quezon City government said in Filipino in a statement.

The Philippines’ first case of the B117 variant is a 29-year-old real estate agent who arrived in the country on January 7 from a business trip in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The country’s coronavirus task force approved the recommendation requiring travelers returning from jurisdictions covered by travel restrictions to take a second test five days after their arrival in the country.

The government is closing its borders to foreigners coming from 34 countries until the end of the month in a bid to keep new COVID-19 variants out.

Preliminary estimates find the B117 or the one first detected in the United Kingdom between 30% and 70% more contagious than other forms of the virus. But there is no evidence that the variant is more deadly than others.

Experts warned that an increase in the transmission of the new variant will lead to more people getting infected and sick, which can overwhelm the country's health system anew. — Xave Gregorio with a report from Gaea Katreena Cabico

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