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Contacts of OFW with COVID-19 variant tested

Raymund Catindig (The Philippine Star) - January 10, 2021 - 12:00am

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines — Family members and other contacts of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) found infected with the COVID-19 variant upon arrival in Hong Kong last week underwent swab tests yesterday.

Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba confirmed that the OFW hails from Solana town, citing an advisory of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) of the Department of Health (DOH) that conducted contact tracing.

Mamba said the OFW could have contracted the COVID-19 variant in Hong Kong, noting that she tested positive for the virus two weeks after she left Cagayan.

The DOH said the OFW left Cagayan for Manila on Dec. 17 and arrived in Hong Kong after five days. Her swab test before she left Manila yielded negative results.

The DOH said the Philippine Gnome Center, which has the capacity to detect the COVID-19 variant, is on standby should any of the contacts of the OFW in Solana would be found infected.

Meanwhile, in Isabela, Mayor Jose Marie Diaz of Ilagan City placed portions of five barangays under containment zone following a spike in confirmed cases.

Diaz said the city has 70 active cases, with 12 recorded yesterday.

In Pangasinan, 63 cases were recorded on Friday, the highest in a day, bringing the total to 3,093.

Fifteen of the new cases are from Calasiao, the youngest, a one-year-old girl and the oldest, a 75-year-old man.

Calasiao Mayor Joseph Arman Bauzon issued an executive order for the reimposition of a liquor ban starting yesterday.

Vaccine procurement

On the procurement of COVID vaccines, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said she had initial talks with AstraZeneca, but is eyeing several sources to ensure there would be enough for the city’s 1.8 million residents.

Carpio said they might need 2.4 million doses, which could not be supplied by a single pharmaceutical company.

In Northern Samar, Gov. Edwin Ongchuan said a portion of the provincial government’s P1.2 billion savings would be used to procure COVID vaccines.

Ongchuan said 70 percent of his constituents should be inoculated to achieve herd immunity.

The provincial risk reduction and management office set aside an initial P10 million to buy vaccines. – Edith Regalado, Miriam Desacada

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