Eight persons who were on the same flight as the country’s first case of the United Kingdom variant of COVID-19 were found positive for the original virus, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) reported yesterday.
In a statement, PRC chairman and Sen. Richard Gordon said there were eight other positive tests from the same flight taken by the 29-year-old real estate agent who had traveled to Dubai with his partner.
Upon their return to the Philippines on an Emirates flight on Jan. 7, he tested positive for B.1.17 SARS-CoV 2, the new UK variant of COVID-19. His partner tested negative for the virus.
According to Gordon, the swab samples taken from the eight individuals have been sent to the Philippine Genome Center to determine if they were also infected with the new variant.
The Department of Health (DOH) is still validating if the eight people were paying passengers or flight staff.