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Published On: Wed, Apr 16th, 2014

Malacanang: Philippine government issues MERS advisory

In response to recent events concerning overseas workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) contracting the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS-CoV), the Presidential Palace, or Malacanang issued an advisory today.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

At a press briefing today, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said the Department of Foreign Affairs, through the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi, dispatched a team on April 12 to determine the condition of the Filipinos who have reportedly contracted the virus.

“The Embassy is continuously coordinating with the health authorities of Abu Dhabi in monitoring the cases of Filipinos possibly affected with MERS Corona Virus and the DFA urges Filipino nationals to heed the advice given by health authorities,” Coloma said. He said one Filipino died of the disease on April 10, as confirmed by foreign affairs officials, while five others who were reportedly affected remain in quarantine as a precaution.

The Department of Health has updated President Aquino on the incidence of the disease in the Middle Eastern countries. In accordance with the President’s instructions, the DOH issued an advisory underscore concern for the said virus.

Related: MERS coronavirus makes first appearance in Asia: Malaysia, Philippines report MERS-CoV cases

While no travel restrictions have been issued as a precaution, Filipinos traveling to the Middle East are advised to avoid contact with persons showing influenza-like illness and to observe frequent hand washing. Those returning from the Middle East who become ill within two weeks upon arrival are advised to delay visits to crowded places and to seek immediate medical attention. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.

Hospitals have been instructed to report to the DOH any patient who may be suspected of contracting the MERS-CoV infection. All persons who recently traveled to the Middle East and are experiencing severe respiratory illness should be tested at the nearest hospital. These cases will be reported to the National Epidemiology Center, while the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine will confirm the diagnosis.

The advisory also said the Bureau of Quarantine continues to screen travelers at different points of entry.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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