Philippines detects 1st case of new COVID-19 variant

2021-01-13 14:06:13 GMT2021-01-13 22:06:13(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

MANILA, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines on Wednesday confirmed its first case of the new and more contagious coronavirus variant initially discovered in Britain.

The Department of Health (DOH) and Philippine Genome Center (PGC) said the coronavirus variant B.1.1.7. was detected in a Filipino male who arrived from the United Arab Emirates on Jan. 7.

The patient left for Dubai on Dec. 27, 2020 for a business trip and arrived in the Philippines via an Emirates flight.

The patient arrived with a female partner but the female tested negative for the virus, the DOH added.

"Both of the returning Filipinos had no exposure to a confirmed case prior to their departure to Dubai nor had any travel activities outside Quezon City," the DOH said, referring to a suburb in the capital Manila.

"Immediate contact tracing was done, and the initially identified contacts are asymptomatic and currently under strict home quarantine," the DOH added.

The Philippines has blocked travelers with recent travel history to Britain and 32 other countries and regions to prevent the new strain from spreading in the country.

The Philippines now has 492,700 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 9,699 deaths. Enditem