Zamboanga Sibugay OFW was Mindanao’s first Omicron case

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ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY, PHILIPPINES

The Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) from Zamboanga Sibugay turned out to be the first recorded COVID-19 Omicron variant in Mindanao, not the 40-year-old Iligan City seafarer as reported earlier by other media.

(The Sun Monitor counts case of the OFW from Zamboanga Sibugay as first for the province and Mindanao although it was not a case of local transmission. – Editor)

In a meeting with the provincial pandemic task force on Friday, January 7, Governor Wilter Palma cited the first Omicron variant case in the province on the need to impose strict measures on all incoming travelers and restrict the movement of the unvaccinated.

Dr. Said Sahi, acting chief of Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Hospital, however, clarified that the reported Omicron-infected patient was already cleared when she arrived in Ipil town on December 25.

She was cleared of COVID-19 before she left Cebu City,  he stressed.

Dr. Adnilre Verzon, health officer of Ipil, confirmed to Rappler the OFW is a resident of Ipil, the capital town of Zamboanga Sibugay.

Verzon said the OFW arrived in Cebu City from Dubai on December 10 and was quarantined in a hotel.

She was swabbed four days after her arrival. The result came out on December 16 showing that she was infected with the Omicron variant.

Health officials extended her quarantine until December 24. She was asymptomatic all throughout the isolation period.

As of today, January 8, the patient’s repeat RT-PCR test yielded negative. The OFW is a recovered case and there is nothing to worry, Verzon said. – The Sun Monitor

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