PAL: Passenger from PHL who tested positive for UK COVID-19 variant in Hong Kong presented negative test results

(Eagle News) — The traveler from the Philippines Hong Kong authorities said tested positive for the UK COVID-19 variant presented a COVID-19 test that yielded negative results, Philippine Airlines said on  Wednesday, January 6.

In an advisory, PAL said the negative COVID-19 test showed by the passenger–whom it did not identify–was a requirement of the Hong Kong government for arriving travelers.

PAL said it has  turned over to the Philippine Bureau of Quarantine “the necessary information that will enable them to carry out the contact tracing procedures on passengers of the said PAL flight.”

“PAL is fully cooperating with health authorities and strictly adheres to vital health & safety protocols to help ensure that air travel is safe even during the pandemic,” it said.

According to Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Hong Kong Center for Health Protection Communicable Disease Branch, the 30-year-old female passenger took the PR300 flight and arrived in Hong Kong on December 22.

The Department of Health has said it was coordinating with Hong Kong authorities for more details.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said contact tracing was underway.

The DOH and the Philippine Genome Center have said that as of January 2, the UK variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease, B.1.1.7, had not been detected in the country.

“Based on the lineage analysis through whole genome sequencing done by the PGC, the UK variant was not detected in any of the 305 positive samples submitted to them from nine institutions,” they said in a joint statement.