DFA: 3 Filipinos in Saudi Arabia test positive for MERS-CoV

/ 01:33 PM March 06, 2015

Department of Foreign Affairs building. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Foreign Affairs on Friday confirmed that three Filipinos working as health care personnel in various hospitals in Saudi Arabia have tested positive for the dreaded Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Speaking at a news briefing, foreign affairs spokesperson Charles Jose said the three nurses, all women, were exposed to MERS-CoV patients in the course of their work.


“Our embassy in Riyadh confirmed that three Filipinos are infected with MERS-CoV in Saudi Arabia. We are in touch with the next of kin to inform them of any developments,” Jose said.

The first Filipina MERS-CoV case is a 56-year-old nurse, assigned at an emergency room of a hospital. “She is now under isolation in the hospital’s staff housing,” Jose said.


“The second is a respiratory technician, currently confined and undergoing medical tests,” Jose said.

The third nurse to contract the virus was assigned at the oncology section of a hospital.

Jose noted the hospitals in Saudi Arabia accredited to accept MERS-CoV patients have instituted infection prevention protocols to make sure that personnel remain safe from the virus.

“We encourage our Filipino workers there especially those in the hospitals to strictly follow these protocols,” he said.

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