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Quezon City gov't confirms Delta variant case, says local transmission 'possible'

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
Quezon City gov't confirms Delta variant case, says local transmission 'possible'
Quezon City health workers are busy putting tamper-proof security seals into the vaccination cards at the city hall on July 10, 2021.
The STAR / Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — A returning overseas Filipino worker from Saudi Arabia who lives in Quezon City, the largest city in the Philippines, tested positive for the Delta variant of COVID-19.

This was confirmed by the city government in a press release sent to reporters Monday afternoon.

According to the local government, the 34-year-old man arrived in the Philippines on June 24, and was slated to stay in a hotel in Makati for 10 days when he experienced a slightly itchy throat on the 28th.

He then underwent a swab test two days later but transferred to another hotel in Manila, the nation's capital city, from July 4 to 11. He was considered recovered and was allowed to go home to his family on July 11.

Results of his sequenced sample were relayed to QC City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit on Sunday evening, prompting arrangements for another round of swab tests for him and his close family contacts today, Monday.

“He will undergo another swab test, along with his family, as part of our protocol even if he is considered a recovered patient. We are doing extensive contact tracing on his close contacts just to make sure,” CESU head Dr. Rolly Cruz said.

“We have put in place extensive measures in preparation for the Delta variant and we continue to exert all effort to contain its possible spread. What is important is that we are intensifying testing and aggressive contact tracing,” Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte also said.

He and his family have been under strict home quarantine since Sunday night, the statement said.

This comes after Belmonte passed a measure requiring the asymptomatic and symptomatic patients in the city to be isolated in facilities authorized by the city's health department only. It is unclear why the family was allowed to do so. 

READ: Home quarantine now prohibited in Quezon City, local gov't says

Local transmission 'possible'

The city government disclosed it is also closely coordinating with another city government, which it did not name, regarding what it said was "the possible local transmission of the variant."

In its statement, the CESU said it "learned that a male who resides in another city but works in a factory in Quezon City contracted the COVID-19 variant. His pregnant wife also tested positive."

The worker experienced shortness of breathing, colds, fever and sore throat on Sunday, July 4 and tested positive the day after. This prompted contact tracing and swabbing at his place of work since Saturday. 

He was admitted to the Philippine General Hospital on Monday, July 5 and was discharged on Sunday, July 18.

His wife, who was asymptomatic, was tested on Thursday, July 8, and turned out positive the next day. She tested positive again on Saturday, July 17. 

"They are staying at a quarantine facility in another city until the end of the month," the LGU's statement also said.

“There are no reported cases yet at his place of work but we are doing this as a preventive measure to make sure we contain any possible transmission this early,” Cruz said. 

Earlier, the city government formed Task Force Delta Variant, which identified key areas to concentrate on moving forward, such as: 

  • revisiting the city’s disease surveillance
  • active case finding and contact tracing capacity;
  • testing capability and the efficiency of its molecular laboratory in processing specimens;
  • reviewing its isolation and quarantine protocols and the status and bed capacity of its HOPE facilities;
  • assessing equipment and manpower resources of hospitals handling moderate to severe cases

The Quezon City Task Force Disiplina was also "ordered to ramp up monitoring and inspection, to ensure that minimum health protocols are followed in all public places."

To date, health authorities have recorded 1.54 million coronavirus infections in the country, 54,401 of whom are still active cases. 

At least 119 cases of the Delta variant, which is believed to be more transmissible, have already been reported in the country.

 

DisclosureQuezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is a shareholder of Philstar Global Corp., which operates digital news outlet Philstar.com.

COVID-19 DELTA VARIANT LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS QUEZON CITY
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