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UPDATE: ‘Patient zero’ of new COVID variant – traveller from Dubai – detected with pneumonia

The X-ray result of the Philippines’ first case of COVID-19 UK variant – a man who arrived from Dubai – has showed that he has pneumonia.

In an interview of ABS CBN News with Dr. Rolly Cruz, Head of the Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, he said that upon transfer to the Hope Quarantine Facility, the 29-year-old patient started to experience coughing.

He added that, at present, the man is being given antibiotics and other medication for his pneumonia.

In a statement, the Quezon City government said the household and close contacts of the man have been traced and isolated.

“The City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit has conducted contact tracing on the resident’s close contacts upon his arrival like the healthworkers at the isolation facility where he was brought,” it said.

“As an added precautionary measure, the patient’s immediate household contacts have been brought to an isolation facility where they were also tested,” the statement added.

The country’s first confirmed case of the UK variant was confirmed by the health department on Wednesday. “Following strengthened surveillance and border control efforts, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Genome Center today confirm the detection of the B.1.1.7 Sars-COV 2 (UK Variant) in the country,” the DOH said.

The patient departed for Dubai on December 27, 2020 for business purposes and arrived in the Philippines last January 7, 2021 via Emirates Flight No. EK 332.

He underwent a swab test and quarantined in a hotel upon arrival.

His female companion tested negative for the virus and is now undergoing strict quarantine protocols.

Both of the passengers said that they had no exposure to COVID-19 positive individuals and had no travel activities outside Quezon City.

Staff Report

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