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Filipinos flying home urged to go for MERS screening

Last updated: Saturday, May 10, 2014 11:11 PM

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH – The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh has urged Filipinos traveling to home country to undergo voluntary screening for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus before departing Saudi Arabia.

In a statement issued on Saturday, it said travelers should obtain a certificate from a medical facility that they are free from infection so that possible delays are prevented upon their arrival in the Philippines.

All international airports in the Philippines are currently enforcing strict screening procedures for MERS-CoV and other infectious diseases, the statement said.

The embassy also advised Filipino healthcare workers to strictly follow infection control protocols in their respective workplaces to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Those who have been exposed to MERS-CoV patients should undergo voluntary MERS-CoV screening through their employers, especially if they intend to travel abroad,” the statement added.

Saudi Arabia said on Friday that seven more people infected with coronavirus had died and identified 10 new cases of the virus, pushing the total number of infections in the Kingdom to 473.

The additional seven deaths on Friday brings the total death toll from the virus in Saudi Arabia to 133 since it was identified two years ago, according to the Health Ministry.

The ministry said on its website that the latest seven deaths were of previously reported cases.

Of the new cases, five were in the capital Riyadh, four in Jeddah and one in Taif, it said on the website. It added that only one of the new cases was in intensive care.

Five other cases had recovered and were discharged, it said.

Meanwhile, the first American diagnosed with a mysterious virus has been released from an Indiana hospital and is consider fully recovered. Community Hospital chief medical information officer Dr. Alan Kumar said on Friday the patient now tests negative for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and “poses no threat to the community.” – With agencies

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