The aggressive contact tracing being done in Bontoc, Mountain Province where at least 12 cases of the B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 (United Kingdom) variant were discovered has been extended to cover the towns of Bauko, Sabangan, and Sagada, and Baguio City, a regional health official said Monday.
Dr. Amelita Pangilinan, assistant director of the Department of Health (DOH) – Cordillera region, said that a man from Bontoc, who came from the UK with his spouse and tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on December 29, had come into contact with relatives from Bauko, Sabangan, and Sagada during a family gathering and a cultural ritual on December 25 and 26.
DOH-Cordillera Director, Dr. Ruby Constantino earlier said the couple also visited Sagada on December 21 and attempted to go to Besao on the same day, which fortunately was on lockdown.
Pangilinan said the husband experienced abdominal pains on December 27 and went to the Luis Hora Regional Hospital where he was given an antigen test that showed he was positive for Covid-19. He was given a confirmatory swab test and the positive result was released on December 29. It is still being determined if he has the UK variant.
She, however, said they learned on Monday that the infected man and his spouse were in Baguio City reportedly for an operation but they have not been located.
Authorities have begun tracing the relatives of the couple here after Mayor Benjamin Magalong was informed of their presence in the city.
“We have called LGU (local government unit in) Baguio and the Regional IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force addressing Covid-19) to help locate the couple and start the contact tracing in the city,” Pangilinan said.
The 12 from Bontoc who were initially infected with the new Covid variant eventually infected 38 other people in the locality and in La Trinidad, Benguet. SOVEREIGNPH