Palace, DOH assures readiness to prevent spread of MERS-COV
MANILA, Feb. 13 — Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. on Friday assured the government is fully equipped to prevent the spread of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) disease in the country.
”The government is intensifying efforts to guard all ports of entry such as airports and sea ports,” Coloma said in a press statement.
”The 11 individuals admitted at the RITM have exhibited signs and symptoms of the MERS-CoV disease but initial laboratory results were negative,” Coloma said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said it is closely coordinating with private hospitals as referral center for the co-passengers of the Filipina nurse found positive with MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus).
“We are doing coordination with private hospitals,” DOH Acting Secretary Janette L. Garin said in a press briefing held at Tayuman, Manila.
Garin also said that the co-passengers may coordinate also to them through the hotline ((02)-7111001 and (02)7111002).
“They can go to private hospitals but we strongly recommend that they go to our DOH identified hospitals where trained personnel can immediately handle them,” Garin said.
According to Garin other DOH-identified hospitals were activated as testing facility for MERSCoV which were equipped with trained personnel like Lung Center of Philippines, San Lazaro Hospital, Philippine Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.
She said while private hospitals has also the trained personnel, it will be better if the passengers may directly report to the government hospital wherein the supplies needed for the tests are ready and available.
“In the government hospital, the DOH will be taking care of the cost,” Garin added..
She added that in private hospital it will not be easier to transfer the funds for the cost of the equipment in the laboratory needed.
The DOH made the call on the 225 co-passengers of Filipina nurse to ensure that spread of MERSCoV can be prevented.
A total of 92 co-passengers had expressed willingnesss, located and agreed for testing.
The Filipina nurse arrived on Feb. 1 through Saudi Flight 860. When she passed the thermal scanner, she was not detected during that time she was asymptomatic.
On Feb. 2, she began experiencing difficulty in breathing with fever and cough. She sought a check-up at a private hospital which was initially undisclosed by DOH.
The nurse was later referred to RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine) in Alabang, Muntinlupa.