MANILA – Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Wednesday said she sees no need to impose new lockdowns even as the United Kingdom (UK) Covid-19 variant has been detected in one of its residents.
Belmonte assured city residents that they have already isolated the first patient confirmed to have been infected with the new Covid-19 variant.
“When (he) left the Philippines on Dec. 27, he tested negative. When he arrived in Dubai, he tested negative. When he left Dubai there was no test. When he arrived in the Philippines he tested positive and when he tested positive he was brought directly to our isolation facility so he never even set foot in the community,” Belmonte said.
She said the group who fetched him from the airport and brought him to the isolation facility were also immediately tested and isolated as well, including their driver.
She added that they have also tested all health workers who attended to the patient at the isolation facility.
“Then at that particular isolation facility where he is located, we are not allowing more people to be admitted at present,” said Belmonte.
Although the subject tested negative before his departure for Dubai, Belmonte said they are also testing his immediate family household and as an additional precautionary measure, his family is also being closely monitored by the city health department.
She said the person’s female companion when he went to Dubai is also in isolation and is being re-tested even though she already tested negative for Covid-19.
“Yung mga kasama niya sa eroplano pabalik, we have citizens from QC in their flight manifest so we are currently identifying them and doing contact tracing sa kanila (The other passengers of the Emirates flight that they took when they came back to the country, we have residents from QC in their flight manifest so we are currently identifying them and doing contact tracing on them),” she said.
She added that they have identified 10 QC residents on the same flight with the person who tested positive for the Covid-19 UK variant.
Belmonte said she feels sad that residents of Barangay Kamuning where the subject resides are experiencing discrimination.
She explained that after the news broke out, employees with residence in Kamuning were told by their employees that they could not report for work in the wake of reports.
Belmonte called on the public especially city residents not to believe false information and not to discriminate against residents of the said barangay.
“The person who tested positive for the variant never set foot on Kamuning, I think there was not enough basis for locking down the barangay because the prerequisite of a lockdown or a granular lockdown has not been observed in Barangay Kamuning,” Belmonte said.
“I’m hoping that with the correct information, the people will be enlightened that there is nothing to panic about, Barangay Kamuning is safe, for the entire city, I make sure that minimum public safety protocol is practiced,” she said. (PNA)