The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) wishes to advise Filipinos in the Middle East to take necessary precautions and to follow the advice of the local health authorities in their host countries following the recent reports of Filipino nationals affected by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the U.A.E.
The Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi dispatched on April 12 an assistance-to-nationals (ATN) team to Al Ain (1.5 hours from Abu Dhabi) to determine the condition of the Filipinos who were reported to have contracted MERS-CoV. Of the six (6) reported cases, the Embassy has confirmed that one (1) Filipino worker died on April 10 due to MERS-CoV while the other five (5) remain in quarantine as a precaution. The Embassy team was also able to confirm that the five Filipinos are doing well and recovering. The next-of-kin of the Filipino fatality has already been notified and is being assisted.
The Embassy is continuously coordinating with the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi in monitoring cases of Filipinos possibly affected with MERS-CoV.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified the symptoms of MERS-CoV, which include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and even diarrhea. Human cases of MERS-CoV have also been reported in other Middle Eastern countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan and Oman.
The DFA continues to urge Filipino nationals in affected countries to remain calm and to heed the advice given by local health authorities, such as washing the hands thoroughly, using sanitizers, and observing other general hygiene practices. Those who experience any of the disease’s symptoms are urged to immediately seek medical attention.
Press release courtesy of the Department of Foreign Affairs, 14 April 2014.