VP Binay to OFWs: Beware of MERS-CoV

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VICE President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday called on Filipino workers in the Middle East to take precautionary measures against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV).

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In making the appeal, Binay said Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) should heed the advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Department of Health (DOH) on how to avoid the virus.

“I urge our OFWs in the Middle East to follow the steps prescribed by the DOH. These are easy enough and should go a long way in preventing infection,” he said.

Binay also urged Filipinos in the region not to panic and confirm reports about the virus with Philippine officials in their area.

He stressed that there was no cause for panic since the World Health Organization (WHO) has not yet declared a MERS-CoV outbreak or epidemic.

The MERS-CoV was first reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia.

According to the WHO website, the Middle East countries that have reported cases of MERS-CoV include Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

In Europe, there were reported cases of the virus in France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom (UK).

Other countries with reported cases of the virus include Tunisia and Egypt (Africa); Malaysia and the Philippines (Asia); and the United States of America (North America).

According to the WHO, the virus appears to be circulating widely throughout the Arabian Peninsula.

“All recent cases that have been reported outside the Middle East first developed infection in the Middle East; then the cases were exported outside the region. These travel-related cases do not appear to have infected others in their countries. In 2013, cases exported to France and the UK led to limited human-to-human transmission,” its website said.

Out of 243 confirmed cases worldwide, three deaths were recorded.

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