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DOH closing in on 4 Etihad passengers

/ 07:49 AM April 26, 2014

Passengers walk past a thermal scanner at the medical quarantine area at the arrival section of Manila’s International Airport in Paranaque, south of Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Health (DOH) already has the contact details of the last four Etihad Airways passengers that it has been tracking down so they can undergo testing for the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS-CoV).

“We’re now in the process of initiating contacts with the four passengers based on the contact details we received,” said Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, manager of the DOH emerging infectious diseases program.

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“At least now we already have the data to work on, unlike yesterday when we had nothing at all,” Lee Suy said.

The health department and the Task Force MERS-CoV have been hunting down all 414 passengers of the Etihad Airways Flight 424 from Abu Dhabi which carried the male Filipino nurse who was initially diagnosed positive for the disease. However, further tests conducted on the nurse showed him to be negative for the virus.

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According to Lee Suy, the initial problems encountered in finding all the plane’s passengers were caused by the incomplete or wrong information that the passengers themselves had provided.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona reminded returning Filipinos from the Middle East not to make any misdeclarations in filling out the health declaration checklist given to them on arrival.

He said the government was looking into what possible liability those who do not truthfully answer the checklist could face. Tina G. Santos, and Edwin Fernandez and Charlie Señase, Inquirer Mindanao

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TAGS: Abu Dhabi, Department of Health, DOH, Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, Enrique Ona, Etihad airways, MERS-CoV, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus
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