Pinoys in Saudi urged to undergo MERS test

By Pia Lee-Brago, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 20 2014 03:44 AM | Updated as of May 20 2014 11:44 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Filipinos in Saudi Arabia, especially health care professionals, are advised to undergo screening for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and strictly follow infection control protocols to avoid spreading the disease.

Ambassador to Riyadh Ezzedin Tago and Philippine embassy officials met with the Filipino community and Filipino medical professionals in the Eastern Region and in Riyadh to discuss latest developments on the MERS-CoV.

They explained to the Filipinos the need to follow infection prevention and control guidelines that hospitals, the Saudi Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) have prescribed.

They also reviewed with the Filipino community the various advisories and information from the Philippine Department of Health and the Saudi Ministry of Health.

Since the school year is about to start, the Philippine curriculum schools in the Eastern Region and Riyadh have committed to hold information campaigns for their staff, students and parents.

Professional organizations have also committed to hold briefings for their members on valuable information on how to prevent and avoid infection.

The embassy urged overseas Filipino workers to refer to its official website for information on latest advisories and urged Filipinos to refrain from spreading unconfirmed information from and on social media.

Embassy officials reiterated to healthcare workers the previous advice for them to strictly follow infection control protocols in their workplaces, and to undergo voluntary MERS-CoV screening, especially if they intend to travel.

The embassy advised the Filipino community to follow prevention techniques from the Saudi health ministry and the Philippine health department and general health practices to enhance their immune system.