• Six OFWs previously suspected with MERS-COV released from hospital

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    Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz Friday announced that the six overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) previously diagnosed to be positive with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) have been declared negative from the corona virus strain after being subjected to two consecutive tests.

    “They had been released from hospital,” Baldoz said, citing a report from Labor Attache to Abu Dhabi Angel Borja. She did not divulge the names of the six OFWs to protect their privacy.

    The labor and employment chief said the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are working closely with the Philippine Embassy and with the Filipino communities in the Emirates in raising awareness on the MERS-CoV and are helping disseminate information on precautionary measures to be taken against the virus.

    “Our POLOs are one with the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi in making representation with the host country’s local health authorities, not only in securing correct and relevant information, but also in protecting Filipinos in the medical and allied professions,” said Baldoz.

    In a related development, Labor Attache to Qatar Leopoldo B. de Jesus reported to Baldoz that the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) of Qatar has stepped up its vigilance on monitoring cases of MERS-COV, as well as in preparing how to deal with any case MERS-CoV case.

    “The SCH, according to published reports, has created a medical team comprising of high level experts from the Council which is now visiting all medical clinics and other private and government hospitals to determine their readiness to cope up with the cases. It is also working with the Ministry of Environment by organizing training courses for employees and medical staff regarding the latest development on the MERS-CoV,” de Jesus informed the Secretary.

    He also said reports indicate that Qatar and other Gulf countries are coordinating to ensure the prevention of the disease and that the SCH is continuing a national survey to identify the factors that caused the infection and the source of the disease.

    “On our part, the POLO and the Philippine Embassy in Doha continues to conduct an information campaign on MERS-CoV among various OFW community organizations in Qatar and among OFW visitors to the POLO. Our welfare officer is also conducting regular visits to Hamad Hospital, a government hospital, to check if there are cases of MERS-CoV, or if any OFW is affected or showing infection of the virus,” Labatt De Jesus reported. PNA

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