Iloilo City confirms first case of Omicron variant

Iloilo City recorded on Wednesday its first case of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Dr. Marigold Calsas, head of the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) of the City Health Office (CHO), identified the case as a 46-year old unvaccinated male seafarer from Arevalo district who arrived here on Dec. 24, 2021.

The asymptomatic positive case is in isolation at the city quarantine facility in Barangay Sooc, Arevalo.

“The case was reported to us a positive case last Dec. 27 and we sent the specimen for genome testing care of the Philippine Genome Center and the result was received yesterday for the Omicron variant, which is positive,” she said in a virtual presser.

In their tracing report, the CESU found out the patient had a travel history to “African countries such as Somalia and Kenya”.

He disembarked at the Kenya port on Dec. 12, 2021, underwent quarantine in a hotel, and tested negative for the virus after submitting to the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on December 14.

Following the negative result, he traveled from Kenya to Cebu on December 15 via Qatar Airways and arrived at 9:30 p.m. the next day. He booked in a hotel for quarantine and again tested negative for Covid-19 as per the RT-PCR result released on December 19.

On December 24, he traveled to this city via Philippine Airlines and underwent home quarantine. He was swabbed three days after at the Iloilo City Uswag Molecular Laboratory and the result turned positive on the same day.

His specimen was sent to the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) and the result released to the CHO on Jan. 4, 2022, confirmed he was positive for the Omicron variant.

The Department of Health (DOH) has been provided with a manifesto of his flights for tracing. Seven of his co-passengers from this city were traced and so far they have not manifested any symptoms of the Covid-19, she said.

Calsas added that the case had no close contact as per tracing.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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