DFA Renews Call for OFWs in MERS-CoV-Affected Countries to Undergo Tests

The Department of Foreign Affairs on Monday renewed its call to Filipino health workers in countries with MERS-COV cases to undergo voluntary testing if they planned to return to the Philippines.

A pregnant Filipina nurse from Saudi Arabia who flew in to Manila was recently diagnosed with the deadly virus.

Mandatory testing for Filipino workers, particularly those employed in hospitals, is not being enforced by the Philippine government, Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said.

However, the first case of MERS-COV in the country, he said, may initiate government interagency discussions on compulsory testing for Filipinos who will be coming from affected countries.

“I think the interagency meeting will determine the next best step if testing will be required before they leave,” Jose told a press briefing.

The infected Filipina nurse is quarantined at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Alabang, Muntilupa City.

Since last year, a total of five Filipinos were killed by the virus, which is prevalent in the Middle East region, specifically in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Symptoms of MERS-COV or Middle East Respiratory Coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization, include fever, cough, shortness of breath and even diarrhea.

Hundreds of Filipino health workers are scattered in hospitals across the Middle East, making them susceptible to acquiring the virus as they are in close touch with infected patients.

Manila is not imposing any travel restrictions to and from the Arabian Peninsula, but the Philippine government called on Filipinos in the Middle East to exercise vigilance and practice health precautions for their own protection.

“Filipino health care personnel in the Middle East are…encouraged to adhere to recommended infection control measures and to volunteer to be tested for MERS before they return to the Philippines,” Jose said.

“Those who develop any of the disease’s symptoms are strongly advised to seek medical attention,” he added.

(Source: GMANetwork.com)

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker