Filipino X-ray technician in Riyadh is PH’s 4th Mers-CoV case—DFA
MANILA, Philippines—A Filipino worker in Saudi Arabia has contracted the dreaded Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-CoronaVirus (Mers-Cov) in the conduct of his work, bringing the total number of Filipinos who tested positive for the virus to four, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.
Charles Jose, DFA spokesperson and assistant secretary, said the Filipino male worker, 41, has been working as an X-ray technician at a hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and could have gotten the disease through exposure to patients with Mers-CoV.
“Our embassy in Riyadh confirmed that there is a new Mers-Cov case involving a Filipino. He was found positive of the Mers-Cov sometime in the first week of March,” Jose told reporters in a news briefing.
The OFW has been confined at the intensive care unit of a hospital in Riyadh for tests and treatment.
While four Filipinos have contracted the disease in the last couple of months, Jose said the other three were showing signs of recovery.
One of them who remains under isolation in the staff housing facility of a hospital already tested negative of the virus.
“She is no longer positive of Mers-Cov but she needs further tests,” Jose said.
The second Filipina with the virus has been transferred from the ICU of a hospital to the ward section, showing good signs of recovery and now able to communicate with fellow Filipino worker.
The third worker, on the other hand, has been discharged from the hospital and placed under home isolation for 14 days. She was able to report back to work on March 16.
“She has been declared fully recovered after the latest medical tests found her negative of the virus,” Jose said.
The DFA renewed its call to OFWs in the healthcare sector in Saudi Arabia to take precautions to avoid contracting the virus.
“They (OFWs) are aware of the risks involved in their line of work. Our embassy in Riyadh has been communicating with our Filipino communities on this,” Jose said.
Mers-CoV, which causes severe acute respiratory illness, including fever, cough and shortness of breath, was first reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and has since infected more than 800 people and killed more than 300 in Saudi Arabia, according to the World Health Organization.
The first Mers—Cov case in the Philippines was a 32-year-old Filipina nurse who arrived from Saudi Arabia in February this year.
The nurse was able to recover from the virus and had been discharged from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine after undergoing a 10-day quarantine.
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