DUMAGUETE CITY – Massive contact tracing is now ongoing in a city in Negros Oriental to locate people who have been exposed to a coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patient carrying the “more contagious” B.1.1.7 variant that was first detected in the United Kingdom.
Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion, health committee chair of the province’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), in a virtual press briefing Tuesday, said the variant was not detected here before the person returned to a city in the north from an undisclosed place.
Estacion did not disclose specific details, but said the suspect B.1.1.7 variant carrier had already left for Manila when she “received the result and the notice”.
She said she has ordered the local government unit of that city to conduct extensive contact tracing up to the 3rd generation but has not yet received a report up to now.
The doctor also called on those who may have exposed themselves to this person to go to their nearest health center for testing.
To date, health authorities in Negros Oriental could not give a clearer picture of how many people were infected with Covid-19 variants due to the absence of genome sequencing.
Meanwhile, Estacion reported three new mortalities due to Covid-19 in Negros Oriental as cases continue to rise at an “alarming” rate.
As of May 18, the province’s total caseload is 3,137, broken down into 2,436 recoveries, 615 active cases, and 86 mortalities.
Estacion reiterated her appeal to the people to adhere to the basic health protocols due to a surge in cases.
Reports indicated that Negros Oriental now has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in Region 7 or Central Visayas. (PNA)