MANILA (Mabuhay) — The Department of Health on Thursday said only six passengers of the flight carrying the Filipino nurse initially diagnosed with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have yet to be contacted by the government.
In a post on its Facebook page, the DOH said as of 10:45 p.m. on Wednesday, at least 408 passengers have been contacted to undergo testing for possible MER-CoV contamination.
The six people who cannot be contacted are:
The DOH reiterated its appeal to the passengers to cooperated with the DOH “to prevent the spread of MERS-CoV.”
“Go to the DOH nearest hospital or call DOH hotlines: 711-1001; 711-1002; 0922-884-1564; 0920-949-8419; 09157725621,” it said.
Earlier, Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr. said travelers returning from the Middle East are advised to fill out the quarantine forms and provide detailed contact information to allow subsequent tracing if needed.
Coloma also said those who become ill within two weeks upon arrival are “strongly advised” to seek immediate medical attention and to delay visits to crowded places.
The Etihad flight had carried the 45-year-old Filipino male nurse, who initially tested positive for the MERS virus, along with 414 other passengers, the DOH said. Two further tests done by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine later found him negative for the virus.
The nurse underwent laboratory exams in the United Arab Emirates after getting exposed to the Filipino paramedic who died from MERS there two weeks ago, but did not wait for the results to come out before he left for Manila.
The DOH decided to quarantine him and his family upon arrival in the country, but they have all been released after the negative results came out. (MNS)