OWWA promises aid to family of MERS-CoV fatality
MANILA, Philippines – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) assured that it will provide assistance to the family of the Filipino who died from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed Monday that the Filipino, a medical worker in Al Ain, died after contracting the deadly MERS-Coronavirus (CoV) that has claimed 88 lives worldwide according to the latest figures of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said in a statement Tuesday that she has instructed OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon to provide full assistance to the victim’s family.
Five other Filipino health workers were also infected and have been put in quarantine, according to the DFA.
“Our people in the [Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Abu Dhabi] are regularly sending us updates on the other Filipinos who have reportedly been in contact with the Filipino nurse before his death. The other co-workers, all nurses, are quarantined in a hospital and are under close observation,” Baldoz said.
“We hope and pray that they will recover soon and that they will be safe from the killer virus,” Dimzon said in the same statement.
The body of the Filipino who died is set to be cremated as soon as documents have been processed, OWWA said.
According to records of the WHO, at least 212 cases of MERS-CoV have been confirmed including 88 deaths.
MERS-CoV is related to the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that infected at least 8,000 individuals and killed more than 750 in China in 2002 and 2003.
Symptoms of MERS-CoV include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and even diarrhea. Cases have been recorded mostly in Middle East countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, and Oman.
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