MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) assured that the Philippines remained MERS-Cov free as the three South Koreans at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City have tested negative for the said disease.
The three Koreans earlier showed symptoms of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). They were initially confined at the Manila Doctors Hospital but were then transferred to the RITM where they were examined.
“Lumabas na ang resulta this morning and it turned out na negative naman sila,” Department of Health spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer.
(The results were released this morning and it turned out that they were negative [for MERS].)
“Baka may trangkaso sila. Ang importante nung tinest natin for MERS-CoV lumitaw na negatibo sila,” he added.
(They might have flu. What’s important is that when we tested them for MERS-CoV, it appeared that they were negative [for the disease].)
The three Koreans still remained confined at the RITM as they received medication.
To ensure that MERS-CoV would not go undetected, Suy advised everyone to immediately have check-ups once they experienced symptoms of the said disease such as cough, cold and fever.
Health Secretary Janette Garin also earlier met with representatives from various hospitals to direct them to take travel history records of their patients and report any suspected cases of the disease.
Strict protocols have already been ordered for foreign travelers and returning OFWs from the Middle East, South Korea and other countries where numerous confirmed cases of the disease were recorded.
“As far as the protocol is concerned, all suspected cases will have to be subjected to laboratory testing as well,” Suy said in a CNN Philippines report.
MERS-CoV was first detected in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It has been considered as a cousin of the SARS virus.