Baguio contacts of UK variant cases under close monitoring

BAGUIO CITY – (Feb. 10, 2021) – Baguio City-based relatives and contacts of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) UK variant cases in La Trinidad, Benguet and Bontoc, Mt. Province are now being closely monitored for disease containment.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the third UK variant case in La Trinidad, who was also the country’s first recorded fatality from the more transmissible variant, had relatives in one barangay in the city who had been tagged as secondary contacts of the patient.

He said the relatives had direct contact with the grandchild of the UK variant patient and the child eventually tested positive for COVID-19 albeit still not determined if it is the UK type.

The city’s contact tracing team said the contacts numbering four belonged to one household.

Aside from monitoring and subjecting the patients to tests, the household had been placed under granular lockdown to restrict their movement and avoid interaction with other persons.

Aside from the relatives, a still undetermined number of health works who attended to the deceased patient and his family members were also included in the monitoring.

The third case, an 84-year-old male who expired in a Baguio City hospital last Jan. 24 had no connection to the first two cases based on results of the link analysis done by the city contact tracing team.

The mayor said contacts of the first case including some co-workers who are residents of the city had been identified and isolated and those who tested positive for the virus are still awaiting results of genome sequencing to determine if they also caught the UK variant.

The contact tracing team said a total of 38 close contacts had been identified including co-workers of the index case and those of his parents and sibling.

The mayor reiterated the high probability that the variant had already reached Baguio considering that the parents of the first case catered to Baguio clients.  This is aside from the fact that some of their identified contacts failed to properly observe quarantine protocols.

“With that we can safely assume that most probably, we have the UK variant in our city,” the mayor reiterated.

Apart from the contacts of the La Trinidad cases, the city had also put under tight watch five other COVID-19 positive residents in two barangays who had links to the UK variant cases in Bontoc town.

One of the cases was present at the family gathering attended by the 12 UK variant cases in the town while another was a direct contact of one of the cases who infected three members of his/her household.  

The Department of Health had logged a total of 25 UK variant cases in the country as of Feb. 10, 15 of which in Bontoc and three in La Trinidad.

Of the total, 22 have already recovered. – Aileen P. Refuerzo