The Department of Health (DoH) is speeding up contact tracing operations in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) after recording 12 cases of the new UK variant of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Bontoc, Mountain Province and a similar case in La Trinidad, Benguet.
According to Contact Tracing Czar and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the DoH is already orchestrating a unit comprising of more than 60 trained contact tracers to conduct tracing operations in the Cordillera region.
He said the team members from Regions 1, 2, and 3 and the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will be under his supervision.
According to La Trinidad, Benguet Mayor Romeo Salda, the tracing of a patient who tested positive for the UK variant in their municipality continues because it has no travel history abroad.
Samples of the two direct contacts of the said patient have also been sent to the Philippine Genome Center after they tested positive for COVID-19.
He added that today, the said patient and his six direct contacts will undergo re-swabbing.
Meanwhile, Bontoc, Mountain Province Mayor Franklin Odsey said the patient identified as Case No. 51 came from the United Kingdom and infected 11 of his relatives who attended their get together.
He said that the said patient tested negative for COVID-19 testing when he arrived in the country until he returned to his hometown.
So far, some of the patient's relatives, even the patient, have been released although they are under strict monitoring.
At the same time, the two LGUs are reminding the people to strictly adhere to the basic health protocols along with their action to prevent the further spread of the said virus.