FILE PHOTO: Captured image at NAIA thermal scanner in March 2014 (UNTV News)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed that two nurses and a respiratory technician working in Saudi Arabia had been tested positive for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS-CoV).
One of the nurses is 56 years old and worked at the emergency room; the second one was assigned at the oncology section.
“Our embassy in Riyadh confirmed that 3 Filipinos are infected with MERSCOV in Saudi Arabia,” DFA Spokesperson Charles Jose said in an interview.
The hospitals where the three Filipinas worked were not named.
The 56-year old nurse is now in isolation and the other two are undergoing examinations to arrest the deadly disease.
“Our embassy in Riyadh and our Consulate General in Jeddah will continue to monitor the new Filipino MERS cases as well to encourage our nationals in Saudi Arabia to take extra precautionary measures,” Jose said.
It was learned that they were infected by patients with MERS-CoV who were also confined in the hospitals they were working in.
The DFA is coordinating with the families of the patients to inform them of their condition.
Their employers will be covering their medical expenses.
The DFA reminded our fellow Filipinos working in the Middle East, especially health workers, to follow infection prevention protocols in hospitals to avoid being infected with MERS-CoV and other diseases.
Last month, a Filipina nurse who returned to the country was tested positive for MERS-CoV.
After several weeks of treatment at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), she recovered and has been released from the hospital.
The DFA once again appealed to our countrymen in the Middle East who will be returning to the Philippines to undergo examinations before travelling to make sure that the deadly virus will not enter the country. (Joan Nano / UNTV News)