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Davao City, Philippines

DavOro boosts contact tracing for UK variant patients

February 14, 2021 - Sunday 3:02 PM by PNA

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DAVAO CITY – The province of Davao de Oro has strengthened its contact tracing efforts after the Department of Health in Region 11 (DOH-11) reported that two out of the three patients who turned out positive for the B.1.1.7 (UK) coronavirus variant came from the said province.

DOH on Saturday night confirmed that three new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) positive patients in Davao Region were confirmed to have the B.1.1.7 variant.

The said variant is known to spread more easily and quickly compared to other variants of Covid-19.

When it was first detected in the Philippines earlier this year, the government has been on high alert in an effort to contain the said variant.

A public statement from the province of Davao de Oro through their Facebook page stated that the patients include a 33-year-old male from Compostela and a 54-year-old female from New Bataan.

The two confirmed cases have no known link with each other and have been under strict isolation since their swab test results came out positive earlier this month.

“We are also currently doubling our efforts in tracing their close contacts up to the third degree (F3 close contacts) and placing them under quarantine. Although unfortunate, this event proves that Covid-19 cannot be defeated overnight. This will require our conscious effort to follow the minimum health standards at all times. Let's stay home if we don't have any essential tasks outside. If going outside is necessary, always remember to wear a face mask and face shield, maintain physical distancing of at least one meter, and always wash your hands with soap,” the statement reads.

The provincial government also reminded the public to avoid meetings and gatherings of any form and make use of digital alternatives such as online video conferences are highly recommended in place of physically gathering.

“Rest assured that the government is doing its best to ensure your safety. In return, we are asking everyone to also do their part and take extra precautions. Let us double our efforts to defeat this deadly pandemic,” the statement added.

On the other hand, DOH-11 also said in a statement on Saturday that with the detection of three B.1.1.7 cases in the Davao Region, DOH Central Office’s Epidemiology Bureau together with the DOH-11, called for an emergency meeting with the concerned local government units for a coordinated response.

“Ongoing intensive investigation and contact tracing up to third-generation or F3 close contacts are being done. All identified close contacts will undergo RT PCR testing. Specimens that tested positive will be reviewed and selected samples that passed the laboratory criteria will undergo the whole genome sequencing at the University of the Philippines–Philippine Genome Center. The identified close contact will also undergo strict quarantine,” DOH-11 added. Prexx Marnie Kate Trozo