A WOMAN in Hong Kong (HK) who tested positive for a more contagious coronavirus strain is a Filipina domestic worker who had come from the Cagayan Valley region in northern Philippines, according to the Department of Health (DoH).

The 30-year-old migrant worker left Cagayan on Dec. 17 and arrived in Manila the next day, where she got quarantined, the agency said in a statement on Thursday, citing a report by the Hong Kong health authorities.

She tested negative for the coronavirus before her flight to Hong Kong on Dec. 22 and she was quarantined after arriving there, DoH said.

On Jan. 2, the woman was tested again and was found to have been positive for the more contagious coronavirus variant, it said. She is still isolated in Hong Kong and was stable, it added.

Philippine health authorities are conducting contact tracing in Cagayan Valley and Metro Manila so people who had contact with her could be quarantined and tested.

DoH on Wednesday said that the more contagious strain that has caused a fresh surge in cases in Europe had not been detected in the country.

The new variant had not been detected in any of the 305 positive samples from patients admitted to various hospitals in the past two months and from inbound travelers who tested positive at the airports.

DoH reported 1,353 coronavirus infections on Thursday, bringing the total to 482,083.

The death toll rose by nine to 9,356, while recoveries increased by 360 to 449,052, it said in a bulletin.

There were 23,675 active cases, 82.3% of which were mild, 8.4% did not show symptoms, 5.8% were critical, 3.1% were severe and 0.48% were moderate.

Rizal reported the highest number of new cases at 63, followed by Laguna at 62, Marikina City at 60, Quezon City at 58 and Davao City at 54.

DoH said seven duplicates had been removed from the tally, while three recovered patients were reclassified as deaths. Three laboratories failed to submit their data on Jan. 6. More than 6.5 million people have been tested for the coronavirus in the Philippines as of Jan. 3, according to DoH’s tracker website.

The coronavirus has sickened about 87.7 million and killed 1.9 million people worldwide, according to the Worldometers website, citing various sources including data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

About 63.2 million people have recovered, it said. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas