Thu, 20 Jan 2022

MANILA - A health official on Monday said the Department of Health (DOH) continues with its contact tracing efforts to locate eight more travelers from South Africa.

During an online media forum, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the eight unlocated travelers are among the 253 individuals who arrived in the country between Nov. 15 and 29.

"Of the 253 [travelers], 80 have been verified and located. Seventy-seven of these are returning overseas Filipinos and three are foreign nationals from Region 6, verified but have not been located yet," she added.

Vergeire also reported four travelers -- three foreign nationals and one returning overseas Filipino from Western Visayas -- were retested for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on Dec. 1 and they were all negative for the disease.

"About 71 are in quarantine facility including the three verified foreign nationals, four returning overseas Filipinos are in home quarantine while five were already discharged after completing the 14-day quarantine," she said.

Citing the latest genome sequencing run, Vergeire told reporters that no Omicron variant cases have been detected in the samples collected and most of the findings were Delta variant cases.

She added the genome sequencing result of a traveler from South Africa who tested positive for Covid-19 might be released on Dec. 8.

The traveler and two others from Burkina Faso and Egypt who had tested positive for Covid-19 arrived between Nov. 15 and 29 as well.

"Itong mga tine-test natin, meron tayong 12 samples ng returning overseas Filipinos na nira-run natin ngayon sa (What we're testing, we have 12 samples of returning overseas Filipinos) smaller machine of Philippine Genome Center for a faster processing time," Vergeire said.

"Hopefully, by tomorrow afternoon o kaya Wednesday morning, makuha natin agad ang mga resultang ito, kasama nito ang South African na nag-positibo (or Wednesday morning, we can get their results, including that of the South African who tested positive for Covid-19)," she added.

To prevent the spread of coronavirus and its variants, Vergeire reminded the public to practice the minimum public health standards -- wearing of face mask, physical distancing, regular handwashing, proper air ventilation inside enclosed spaces -- all the time. (PNA)

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