City IMT chief Dr. Dean Palanca during an interview (File photo)

City health officials said they are closely monitoring a returning overseas Filipino (ROF) male already under quarantine who has shown symptoms indicative of the dreaded Delta variant.

The patient’s test samples had been sent to the Philippine Genome Center to determine its variant, according to city Incident Management Team (IMT) head Dr. Dean Palanca.

Palanca said that the patient arrived in the city early last week carrying a negative RT-PCR test result. After undergoing a mandatory antigen test, he tested positive and was quarantined before starting to exhibit symptoms.

“Masyadong mabilis ang [onset] of symptoms. Kasi noong dumating siya rito, may dala siyang negative na RT-PCR. Pero dahil requirement natin na may antigen test after 48 hours, doon namin nakita na positive siya. We are hoping na ma-test din ito agad for genome sequencing,” he said.

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Palanca did not say what country the ROF patient came from. He added that according to the patient’s attending physicians, the patient is exhibiting typical COVID-19 symptoms including difficulty of breathing. His close contacts have also been identified and tested.

“Ang mga naging close contact niya, lima sila, lahat sila positive din. Sila ay mga nakasalamuha lang niya noong nandito na siya. Naka-isolate na rin sila,” said Palanca.

Palanca earlier raised fears that a spread of the Delta variant in the city will have deadly consequences and will overshadow the difficulty they had experienced during the surge that occurred in March. He warned that a new surge of the Delta variant may trigger a rapid spread of the virus to around 270 daily cases, with potential deaths averaging six a day.

The Delta variant is a more infectious and deadlier mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the COVID-19 sickness. It is also largely to blame for new outbreaks in the United States. The variant as also been proven to be deadlier to unvaccinated individuals, causing hospitalization and death at a much faster rate than other COVID-19 variants.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.