Zamboanga Peninsula records first UK COVID-19 variant

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 6) — Zamboanga Peninsula has recorded its first COVID-19 B.1.1.7 variant first found in the United Kingdom, the Department of Health-Zamboanga Peninsula reported on Saturday.

In an advisory, DOH-Zamboanga Peninsula Center for Health Development said the patient is a 29-year-old female domestic helper from Barangay Malintuoban in Labason, Zamboanga del Norte. She has since been discharged from quarantine after recovering from the virus, the local health officials said.

After returning from Abu Dhabi on February 8, the patient developed a fever with cough and was immediately swabbed for a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR test. The test came out positive on February 13. She underwent ten days of quarantine at Summit Hotel in Manila, the Zamboanga center said.

On February 24, she arrived in the municipality of Labason, Zamboanga via Philippines Airlines flight PR 4997 and was placed on strict home quarantine for five days with no other company in her residence. She was released from quarantine on March 2, as directed by the municipality's rural health unit.

"The patient has been asymptomatic since her arrival in the Municipality of Labason and up to the present day," DOH Zamboanga Peninsula said.

Authorities continue to work closely with Labason LGU to ensure timely and effective measures are in place to mitigate transmission, it added.

"On-going active surveillance thru follow-up has been conducted and contact tracing is ongoing."

There are now 118 total cases of the B.1.1.7 variant in the country, with 31 new cases added to the list, DOH reported on Friday. Meanwhile, cases of the B.1.351 variant that was first detected in South Africa have also risen to 58, with 52 new cases to date.