By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

The Ministry of Public Health (MSP) reports (computer translated) that two new cases were registered in Pichincha with the new variant (B1.1.7) of the COVID-19 virus, which was reported by the United Kingdom to the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 14, 2020.

These cases respond to a 64-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl, without any relationship. The first one entered national territory with a negative RT-PCR test, on January 11, from the United Kingdom. The second patient did not register trips in the last six months. Both citizens receive medical treatment in two health houses in Quito.

This state portfolio, after the positive results of the genotification and the respective notification of the two new cases, activated several health brigades to lift the epidemiological fence around their relatives and close contacts, a strategy that is in charge of the National Directorate of Epidemiological surveillance.  

The tests to detect the infectious agent were taken by professionals from the National Institute for Public Health Research ( Inspi ) and referred for genomic analysis to the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ).

Paul Cardenas, a researcher at the Universidad San Francisco Quito, explained that the laboratory he performed sequencing of the virus to determine which family or variant belongs. “The letters that make up DNA were obtained using the technique called nanopore . (…) Thus we confirm that these cases respond to the new variant ”, he added.  

This inter-institutional cooperation takes place within the framework of the agreement signed on January 7, with the aim of accelerating the investigation processes to identify the presence or not of this variant in the country.

The MSP develops actions to contain the presence of the variant in the country, through technical control at the entry points at the international airports of Quito and Guayaquil. In the capital, from December 22, 2020 to January 25, 2021, the institution carried out 3,003 rapid antigen tests, of which 59 (1.96%) passengers gave a positive result and completed the isolation. Meanwhile, in Guayaquil, in the same period, 5,048 rapid antigen tests were applied and 42 (0.83%) were positive.

Health status of patients

The two patients with the new variant of COVID-19 are cared for by MSP staff and health professionals. They are currently in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of two health houses and their diagnoses are reserved.

To date, several relatives of the patients present symptoms, remain in home isolation and under epidemiological control and surveillance.

Update of case zero in Los Ríos

After staying in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the hospital of the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute (IESS) in Quevedo and receiving medical attention, on January 19, case zero was transferred from the ICU to the hospitalization area, where recovered and received the final discharge from the health home, this January 26.

The three family members who also tested positive for COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 are in stable condition. Zonal Coordination 5 of the MSP continues with surveillance, through telephone monitoring and home visits to monitor this family circle.