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First PH case of B.1.1.318 variant hits Bacoleña: DOH

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The Department of Health (DOH) announced on Monday, October 25, that the first B.1.1.318 COVID-19 variant case in the Philippines hit a Bacolod City resident.

However, there is no cause for alarm for Bacolod residents as the 34-year-old female hit by the variant had recovered from it while in quarantine in Metro Manila and has since returned to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dr. Chris Sorongon, City Emergency Operations Center deputy for medical data and analysis, said.

The B.1.1.318 variant, which was first detected in Mauritius, was classified as a variant under investigation by the World Health Organization on June 2, DOH spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

The patient is a 34-year-old male from Bacolod City who returned to the Philippines on March 5 and recovered from the respiratory illness on March 21, Vergeire said.

Sorongon, however, said that it was a 34-year-old female who was hit by the B.1.1.318 variant.

The female ROF from Barangay Alijis, Bacolod, arrived in the Philippines on March 5 and was swabbed for COVID-19 on March 10 in Manila and tested positive.

She was asymptomatic and was quarantined in Manila until she recovered, and when she returned to Bacolod she self-quarantined in a room in her house for seven more days, Sorongon said.

Her companions in her house were her parents and a 3-year-old child.

In April, she returned to the UAE where she and her husband work, he said.

She was properly quarantined and recovered before she returned to Bacolod so there was no spread of the variant in the city, Sorongon said.

The genome sequencing results based on a sample taken from the Bacoleña came out more than seven months after it was taken, said Sorongon, who is running for Bacolod City councilor in the 2022 polls.

Bacolod City remains a moderate risk area for COVID-19 under Alert Level 4, the DOH reported Monday.

Bacolod had 1,712 active COVID-19 cases on Monday, the DOH said.*

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