Iloilo City has recorded its first case of Omicron variant of COVID-19 in an unvaccinated 46 year-old male seafarer from Arevalo district.
Tracing done by the City Epidemiological Surveillance Unit (“CESU”) showed the patient first arrived in the country from Kenya on Dec. 16. He traveled to Iloilo City from Cebu on Dec. 24.
He was home quarantined, and swabbed on the third day, December 27, 2021 as was the protocol. His RT-PCR yielded a positive result, thus he was transferred to the city’s quarantine facility.
“We have already secured the patient in our quarantine facility. I have ordered a thorough investigation of the case so we can avert the possible spread of the Omicron variant in the city,” Mayor Jerry P. Treñas said.
The patient’s specimen was sent to the Philippine Genome Sequencing Center. His sequencing result showed he is positive of the Omicron variant. The CESU received the report January 4, 2022.
“All data will be updated as soon as we further investigate the Omicron case through our health personnel, the Department of Health (DOH), and contact tracers as the patient has alleged he had no close contacts,” CESU head Dr. Marigold Calsas said.
In anticipation of a surge, the mayor already instructed the preparation of the city’s quarantine facilities. He also ordered the imposition of stricter travel and quarantine protocols.
Treñas reiterated the need for vaccination and getting a booster shot.
“The DOH will be sending us 100,000 doses of Pfizer and 100,000 doses of Moderna vaccines this week. We will be using these vaccines as booster shots and vaccination,” he said.
The city has recorded a total of 16 cases on Jan. 4, mostly with history of travel. (Iloilo City PIO)