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DOH awaits results of swab tests of Hong Kong-based OFW with new COVID-19 variant

A 3D-printed coronavirus model is seen in front of the words coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on display in this illustration taken March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Files

The Department of Health (DOH) is still waiting for the results of the swab tests done on the close contacts of the overseas Filipina worker found with the new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), in Hong Kong.

DOH Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire confirmed that authorities have managed to trace and quarantined all the contacts of the Filipina domestic helper before she boarded a flight to Hong Kong in December 22.

Naka-trace tayo ng contacts niya, mga kapamilya niya doon sa kaniyang hometown and then we were also able to trace all of the contacts dito naman sa Manila,” Vergeire said on Tuesday, January 12, during a virtual press briefing.

Lahat sila minu-monitor, nakakuha na rin tayo sa kanila ng specimens for RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) at the same time for the whole genome sequencing,” she added.

Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Communicable Disease Branch of Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection, revealed that a passenger of Philippine Airlines flight PR300 tested positive for the new coronavirus variant initially found in the United Kingdom.

Britain said that the new coronavirus variant could be up to 70 percent more infectious.

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