Department of Health says Philippines still free from MERS-CoV
The Philippines still remains to be free of MERS-CoV even after a Filipino came home carrying the virus. This was clearly stated by the Philippines’ Department of Health adding that the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome- Coronavirus has not penetrated the country.
The health department’s Emerging Infectious Diseases Program Manager Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy claimed that there were no other cases traced in the country. Lee Suy said, "We are still MERS-CoV free, as of now.”
Among the 414 passengers of Etihad Airlines Flight EY0424, 400 were already tested showing negative results for MERS-CoV. The DOH official said, "They have been tested and the results are negative.”
The health official also said that the remaining passengers of the flight were either waiting for the results of the test or will have to undergo testing. Lee Suy also gave a public warning to be vigilant as the virus could enter the country.
He said, "More countries are working on the MERS-COV. Meaning, there are more being exposed to it, particularly outside the Arabian Peninsula. We're not saying it would not happen here, but I'm hoping it doesn't happen here… we cannot be complacent about this, so we must be relentless in what we do."
The DOH official said that the symptoms of the virus manifests within 14 days. He advised those who would be entering the Philippines from Middle East countries to be watchful for MERS-CoV possible symptoms. Lee Suy also stated that the symptoms of the virus included sore throat, diarrhea and breathing difficulty. Those who are entering the country experiencing the symptoms should go to the nearest DOH center to be tested for MERS-CoV.
The health department has already stated that the testing for MERS-CoV is free of charge is shouldered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.