MANILA — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday said a fourth Filipino health worker in Saudi Arabia has been infected with MERS-COV virus.
In a statement, DFA spokesman Charles Jose said the affected Filipino is male, 41 years old, single and working as x-ray technician in a hospital in Riyadh.
“He was found positive of the MERS-COV virus sometime in the first week of March and was transferred to one of Saudi’s designated specialist hospitals on March 7 where he has since been confined in the ICU,” Jose said, adding the Filipino had direct exposure to MERS patients in the conduct of his work.
Earlier, three Filipino healthcare workers in Saudi were also diagnosed with the virus.
But Jose said one them tested negative and has already been released from the hospital.
“She was placed under home isolation for 14 days. She has been declared fully recovered after her latest tests found her negative of the MERS virus. She reported back to work on March 16,” he said.
The other Filipino, he added, is still under isolation in the hospital’s staff housing although her medical test found her “weak negative.”
“She is no longer positive but still needs further tests,” he said.
The worker, Jose said, has been released from the ICU and transferred to the ward section of the hospital.
“She is showing good signs of recovery as she can communicate with her fellow Filipino workers,” he said.
Manila is not enforcing a travel ban to Saudi Arabia, but has called on Filipinos residing in the Kingdom to exercise extreme caution and follow the health advisory of Saudi authorities, particularly those employed in the health care sector.