Pres. Duterte says he’s praying that UK variant not more dangerous after PHL case detected

Duterte refers to highly infectious COVID strain as “new monster”

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on January 13, 2021. RICHARD MADELO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO


(Eagle News) – President Rodigo Duterte said that he is hoping and praying that the highly infectious variant B.1.1.7, also known as the United Kingdom strain, is not more dangerous or toxic than previous COVID-19 strains.

This was after the Department of Health (DOH) bared that the UK strain had been detected in a Filipino who arrived in the country on Jan. 7 after a short trip to the United Arab Emirates.

The case was a 29-year old male who was a resident of Quezon City. He left the country for a short business trip to Dubai, along with his female companion, on Dec. 27. He was negative for COVID-19 when he left. But when he came back on Jan. 7, he tested positive for COVID-19, and when his swab samples were sent to the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) for testing, it was found to have the UK virus strain.

President Duterte referred to the highly infectious strain as a “new monster.”

May bagong monster na naman,” Duterte said in his televised talk to the nation on Wednesday night, Jan. 13, 2021.

“And I pray to God really na sana — sana na hindi ito more dangerous, more toxic than the original COVID,” he said.

The President said the Filipino found to have been positive with the UK virus strain has been isolated, and is being closely monitored and treated. His close contacts, including family members, his female companion, and all whom had contact with him since his arrival including health workers who took his swab samples and those who took him to the isolation facility, were also isolated and being closely monitored.

The COVID-positive traveler is a resident of Kamuning, Quezon City.

Quezon City mayor Joy Belmonte said that they are also doing contact tracing of all other close contacts of the patient in the city.

Duterte said that the isolation and treatment of those whom had been close to or had an interaction with the positive case is very important, so that further transmission of the variant would be stopped.

Hanapin ‘yung mga tao, tapos i-examine sila for their own good,” the President said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III reported to the President last night about this COVID-19 positive case.

-Contact tracing in Quezon City-

“This was discovered or detected in a 29-year-old male residing in Kamuning, Quezon City with his girlfriend and parents. They are real estate agents who have not reported physically at their office and they go out only for essentials,” Duque said.

“They departed for Dubai on December 27 for business purpose and accompanied by his girlfriend at sila po ay sinuri at lumabas ang resulta doon na negative upon arrival in Dubai,” he said.

Duque said that the couple stayed in an apartelle while in Dubai. They had a business meeting with another individual there on Dec. 30, he said.

“They were reported to have visited malls, groceries, and tourist sites,” he said.

The couple then arrived in Manila via Emirates EK332 on Jan. 7. They had their swab samples taken upon arrival at NAIA Terminal 3 and were sent to a chosen quarantine facility, a hotel which was not named.

Test results released the following day showed that the male traveler was COVID-19 positive while his female companion tested negative.

Just the same, the female companion was also isolated and was placed under quarantine.

“Both allegedly had no travel outside of Quezon City noong December or no known exposure to a confirmed case or a setting with known cases. The only known contacts are the cases’ parents, who are currently asymptomatic and staying in their residence,” Duque added.

(Eagle News Service)