DoH locates 1 of 8 returning workers from South Africa

HEALTH authorities on Wednesday said they have found one of the eight travelers who arrived in the Philippines from South Africa, where the Omicron coronavirus variant was first detected.

The returning migrant Filipino worker had tested negative for the coronavirus and was under home quarantine, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire told reporters in a Viber message.

The seven returning migrant Filipino workers had not been found, she added.

Of the seven missing travelers, three did not provide contact details, one gave an incorrect contact number and two remained unresponsive, Ms. Vergeire said.

“We are continuously getting in touch with our local government units and other partners to be able to contact these individuals.”

The Department of Health (DoH) earlier said that 253 travelers from South Africa arrived in the country from Nov. 15 to 29.

Ms. Vergeire has appealed to the travelers to contact the local DoH offices so they can get tested and prevent a potential transmission of the heavily mutated Omicron variant.

The Philippines has suspended inbound flights from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy until mid-December to prevent an outbreak of the Omicron variant. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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