ALTHOUGH one Filipina tested negative from the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday confirmed another one is currently “under observation.”
Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said that the total number of Filipinos being monitored by the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh is still at four.
He added that the recent case was a female nurse, and she “has been placed in isolation under observation.”
“So, as of now, we are still monitoring four cases of Filipinos with MERS-CoV in Riyadh,” Jose said during a press briefing.
One of the Filipinos in the four earlier cases reported is already awake, and was able to communicate. However, she is still confined in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital she has been working for.
As for the three other Filipinos–one is still in the ICU, the male nurse is in isolation, and the 50-year-old female nurse previously under observation has ben discharged from the hospital “based in the negative result of a series of tests.”
All nurses possibly contracted the virus in the hospital they are working for.
Jose, however, said he could not reveal the name of the hospital for now.
Since 2013, 10 Filipinos–eight from Saudi Arabia and two from the United Arab Emirates (UAE)–have already died from contracting the virus, which has spread in the Middle East region, particularly in Saudi Arabia.
According to the World health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause a range of illnesses in humans, ranging from the common cold to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
The MERS-CoV, which is a strain of coronavirus, was first identified in 2012 in Saudi Arabia.
As of February 5 this year, WHO said at least 356 have died from the virus in 971 confirmed cases.