Bacolod City in touch with DOH on Omicron case response

The city government here is closely coordinating with the Department of Health (DOH) on its continuing response to the presence of a recovered coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) Omicron variant case in the city.

In a report on Tuesday night, the Emergency Operations Center Task Force (EOC-TF) said the patient, a visiting overseas Filipino worker (OFW), and his wife, who is working in Bacolod, are both asymptomatic and will remain under hotel quarantine until January 7.

Dr. Rosalie Deocampo, contact tracing cluster head of the EOC-TF, said on Wednesday they are closely coordinating with the DOH through Dr. Jane Juanico, infectious disease cluster head of DOH 6 (Western Visayas), regarding the city’s next course of action, based on the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

“We are constantly in touch with the DOH, through its regional office, for guidance. Although under the IATF guidelines, similar cases mandate a 10-day isolation period, which they have already complied with,” she added.

Deocampo said they would immediately update the public on any advice from the DOH.

“The subject (OFW) has already recovered. People have nothing to worry about,” she added.

The 38-year-old patient from Mindanao, a cruise ship worker, flew in from New York after leaving his base in Miami, Florida. He arrived in Manila on December 15 fully vaccinated and with a booster shot.

While under quarantine, he was tested after manifesting symptoms and his positive result came out on December 20. He was brought to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration designated isolation hotel on December 24.

After he recovered on December 31, he was allowed to board a flight to Bacolod on the same day.

On January 1, the Philippine Genome Center released a result, showing that he had contracted the Omicron variant.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia said although the visiting OFW is considered cleared, the city government continues to strengthen border controls and stay alert to curb the spread of the highly transmissible Covid-19 variant.

“Bacolod residents should remain vigilant, get vaccinated or have booster shots and observe minimum health protocols. Do not be complacent in the light of the uptick of cases in the National Capital Region that might spill over to other provinces and regions,” he said.

In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the Omicron variant is four times more transmissible than the Delta.

Still, approved vaccines remain effective against the Omicron variant, he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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