Mayor Evelio Leonardia has ordered heightened border controls after the city reported a case of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) Omicron variant involving a visiting overseas Filipino worker (OFW), who arrived here on December 31.
Considered as recovered, the 38-year-old patient from Mindanao, a cruise ship worker who flew in from Miami, Florida, came to Bacolod to be with his wife, a native of Pampanga, who is working in a business process outsourcing firm.
“This is apparently not a local case. This is an imported one based on the accounts made by the Department of Health (DOH) and other experts. It so happened that his genome sequencing result came out late. Just the same, we have to take precautions,” Leonardia said in a statement, after an emergency meeting, on Monday night.
Dr. Chris Sorongon, medical deputy of the Emergency Operations Center Task Force (EOC-TF), said the result was released by the Philippine Genome Center on January 1, a day after the OFW arrived in Bacolod.
Leonardia told Bacolodnons there is no need to be alarmed, but precautionary measures should still be taken.
The two are currently isolated in a hotel, where they are booked until January 5.
The last time the wife reported for work was on December 29, or two days before she had contact with her husband.
According to the EOC-TF, doctors have noted that the patient had been asymptomatic from December 20 to January 3.
When he arrived in the country on December 15, he was fully vaccinated and has also received a booster shot.
On his second day in quarantine, he manifested symptoms of Covid-19 and was tested. His positive result came out on December 20 and his swab sample was then submitted for genome sequencing.
On December 24, he was transferred to a hotel that serves as an Overseas Workers Welfare Administration isolation facility, and on December 31, he was released as he has fully recovered.
He was allowed to board a flight to Bacolod on the same day and was picked up by his wife at the airport. (PNA)