The returning overseas Filipino (ROF) earlier infected with the Omicron variant and his wife can already be integrated into the community after having completed the seven-day isolation period, a Department of Health executive said.
Dr. Jane Juanico of the DOH-6 Infectious Disease Unit has informed Dr. Rosalie Deocampo, Emergency Operations Center-Task Force cluster head for contact-tracing, that the couple will no longer be required to undergo another round of swab test.
Deocampo reiterated that Bacolodnons have nothing to worry over the returning overseas Filipino (ROF) earlier found to have been infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
But Mayor Evelio Leonardia said that while the “imported” Omicron variant-infected ROF is considered cleared, the city government will have to strengthen border controls and residents should remain vigilant, get vaccinated or booster shots, observe minimum health protocol and should not be complacent in the light of the uptick of COVID cases in the National Capital Region that might spill over to the different provinces and regions.
Leonardia also held off any decision to restart the holding of limited face-to-face classes at Alangilan National High School.
The city chief executive also put on hold final decision on applications by a local college and a local university to begin face-to-face classes of their allied medical courses.
Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran also concurred with the suggestion of Councilor Cindy Tan-Rojas and key EOC members to set aside F2F class instructions between 15 to 30 days, because there is a high possibility of resurgence of cases here like in Manila, especially after the holidays.
Deocampo said the task force is closely coordinating with the national office of the Department of Health through DOH-6’s Dr. Jane Juanico of the Infectious Diseases unit, regarding their next move based on the Inter-Agency Task Force guidelines.
Deocampo pointed out that the couple remains at the quarantine hotel and asymptomatic.
They were allowed two more extra days booking by the hotel management.
The couple will be out by January 7 from their current accommodation, she added.
“We are constantly in touch with the DOH through its regional office for guidance, although under the IATF guidelines, similar cases mandate a 10-day isolation period which they have already complied with,” she explained.
Deocampo said they will keep the public posted as soon as the national DOH has issued any advice whether to extend their isolation or allow them to already reintegrate with the community.
The IATF guidelines allow for only 10 days of isolation for recovered patients, Deocampo emphasized, adding that the subject ROF “has already recovered and the people have nothing to worry about.”
The RT-PCR test result Monday of the 38-year-old ROF, a cruise ship personnel based in Miami, Florida, showed he was still COVID positive with a 36.7 cycle threshold, meaning he is no longer infectious, Deocampo said.
His wife’s result turned out negative, she added.
Both are non-Bacolod natives. The husband is from Mindanao and the wife is from Pampanga who arrived here last December 5 and has since worked as a call center agent at a local Business Process Outsourcing firm.
EOC-TF Executive Director Em Ang earlier said the ROF was fully-vaccinated and had also received his booster shot while still in the US.
Councilor Israel Salanga, during the emergency zoom meeting of the EOC called by Leonardia, noted that the patient has already been cleared as recovered with complete documents by the Manila LGU before traveling to Bacolod-Silay Airport via sweeper flight.
Salanga heads the cluster on Overseas Filipino Workers.
The infected ROF, Deocampo recounted, traveled from Miami to New York on December 12.
From New York, he took the flight to the Philippines and arrived in Manila on December 15.
He was billeted at the Century Park Hotel in Malate, an Overseas Workers Welfare Office-accredited quarantine facility.
While under quarantine, he developed symptoms such as sore throat, cough and colds on December 17, which he blamed on the hot chocolate drink he took.
He underwent RT-PCR test on December 19, a mandatory procedure usually taken five days after arrival.
His results came out positive on December 20, the same day that his symptoms were resolved.
He was transferred to an isolation facility dedicated for COVID-19 positive cases in Malate, Manila until he was given clearance as recovered on the 12th day from his swab test or 14th day from onset of symptoms.
On December 31, a doctor at the facility cleared the ROF, who was asymptomatic since December 20.
He was declared fit to travel and was given the go-ahead to be on a sweeper flight to Bacolod.
He was picked up by his wife at the Bacolod-Silay Airport via a privately-owned car.
Ang said his genome sequencing test results were released only on January 1, 2022 indicating that he had been infected with the Omicron variant.*