South African variant of coronavirus detected in Minalin

A 36-YEAR-OLD overseas Filipino worker (OFW) from Dubai who came home in Minalin town, Pamapanga in February tested positive for the South African variant of novel coronavirus.

This was according to the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) that handled the quarantine process upon the patient's arrival in the country on February 4 and cleared the OFW to go home after some two weeks of quarantine, Mayor Edgar Flores said.

The local government of Minalin was notified by BOQ on Wednesday, March 3, that the OFW was positive for the South African variant based on the genome sequencing conducted on her swab sample.

This is nearly a two-week gap from the OFW's arrival in the municipality on February 20 and the BOQ's notification.

Flores said he already wrote a letter seeking explaination from BOQ on why the patient was cleared and the delay in notification of the test results.

"This is causing anxiety to our town, to the Minaleños, and also the province of Pampanga because the patient have already gone around knowing that she was negative for the virus," the mayor said.

Meanwhile, Flores said the patient was already in isolation and was asymptomatic as of Friday, March 5.

Contact tracing process was also conducted and during the process, Flores said the OFW's immediate family members and other close contacts were also asymptomatic.


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