Davao intensifies contact tracing efforts for UK strain

Davao intensifies contact tracing efforts for UK strain

DAVAO CITY – The city government has stepped up investigation and contact tracing on the possible link or source of the more contagious coronavirus strain B.1.1.7 or the UK variant.

The move came after the city recorded its first known B.1.1.7 case in a 10-year-old boy.

Last week, a result came out from the sixth batch of samples sequenced by the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) on February 8 wherein out of the 19 new cases of the B.1.1.7 in the country, three came from Davao Region. Two of them are from Davao de Oro and one from Davao City.

Dr. Ashley G. Lopez, head of the City Health Office (CHO), said the health team immediately investigated the case and went to the identified residences of the 10-year-old boy.

Lopez said that based on the index case the patient’s grandmother, who completed 21 days of quarantine, has already recovered.

The boy had direct exposure to the grandmother during holidays for over a month.

“The boy was immediately isolated after he tested positive on January 18. He was isolated for 10 days because he was asymptomatic. After 10 days the boy was sent home and continued quarantine for four more days,” Lopez added.

He further said that the child has also fully recovered on February 1 but remains in quarantine at home.

According to Lopez, the epidemiology experts said that the child cannot contract the variant without any contact. There is no clear evidence yet how the first known case contracted the B.1.1.7 strain, he added.

“Based on the assessment, the family has no history of travel even in the past year and has no known contact with a suspected UK variant or foreigner. We can’t find a history of exposure to a probable UK variant,” Lopez said.

Lopez assured that there is a slim chance of a possible surge from the said case as the CHO has been actively monitoring and taking action.

He said that since the first UK variant case was reported there was no increase in the trend and there is no evidence of community transmission of the UK variant.

Lopez also allayed fears of a surge in cases after the first case in the city, saying, the first case should not cause panic for this is an isolated case and the risk of transmission is very low.